Home MMA News Daniel Cormier wants to erase Jon Jones 'stench' by smashing Volkan Oezdemir...

Daniel Cormier wants to erase Jon Jones 'stench' by smashing Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220


LAS VEGAS – UFC champion Daniel Cormier can’t deny the reality of the situation heading into his UFC 220 fight with Volkan Oezdemir.

Cormier (19-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) is still wearing the light heavyweight belt and defending it because Jon Jones (21-1-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) failed a second drug test and was stripped as champion. But the reality is, Jones knocked him out in July at UFC 214.

Does Cormier feel like the baddest 205-pound fighter on the planet? Not exactly. But he does know how he can change that feeling.

That’s where Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) comes in.

“When you guys ask me these questions, it’s hard for me to not be who I am,” Cormier said at a press conference Friday for the Jan. 20 pay-per-view event at TD Garden in Boston. “I always say July 29th I was in the octagon, I know what happened, (and) I don’t hide from the result. I know what happened, and I lost the fight. That’s my reality. But what do I do when I lose a fight? What do I do when I’ve had anything bad happen to me? I get up, I dust myself off, and I go back to work. That’s all I can do. …

“I feel like after the fight, there’s a stench, a stink on me from just a bad fight, a bad build-up, a bad result, a bad everything. I have to right that by not only beating Volkan Oezdemir, but really dominating him and smashing him. I’m going to smash him on January 20th. That’s the only way I can feel better being the competitor that I am.”

After all he’s been through over the past two years, Cormier said he’s less vulnerable to shifting circumstances outside the octagon. And that’s because Jones’ repeated troubles have thickened his skin.

So when Oezdemir appeared to jeopardize the upcoming bout by getting arrested and charged with battery for an alleged bar fight, the champ didn’t flinch.

“I look at these guys, and they have these issues,” Cormier said. “I’ve adopted this thought that it’s just on to the next guy. If Volkan shows up, he shows up. If it’s not him, it’s going to be someone else. I can’t worry myself with trying to make sure these guys stay out of trouble. I just stay steady.”

Oezdemir has vowed his legal troubles will not prevent him from beating Cormier quickly as he’s been able to dispatch previous opponents. But Cormier points out that Oezdemir is not unlike a previous knockout threat, Anthony Johnson. On two occasions, Cormier took away the challenger’s best tools and sunk in a rear-naked choke.

If the challenger thinks he’s going to be able to storm into the octagon and walk away with a quick stoppage, Cormier said, he’s ready to use the wrestling that won him a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

“I think it’s crazy,” Cormier said of Oezdemir’s quick knockout prediction. “But I think it’s like the only way that he can win. What else? What if it doesn’t happen? So many guys go into the fight with the idea that they’re just going to get me out of there. I’m smaller than everybody. I’m not the body-building guy. I don’t look like those guys. So they think they’re going to get ol’ D.C. out of there.

“But what happens after 5 minutes when I’m still pressing you, and I’m throwing you down, and I’m pushing your head down, and making you gasp for air, and then I take you down and cover your face so that you can’t breathe? What happens then? You know what happens then is, they turn over, they present their neck, and they tap out. That’s what’s about to happen to Volkan Oezdemir.”

Cormier pointed out that only Jones has been able to match his pace inside the octagon. Everyone else has succumbed to his grind.

“I got heart, man,” Oezdemir objected in a rare moment of cross-talk between the two men. “It’s not going to be that easy. … I don’t think you’ve seen everything I’m capable of. All my fights were so fast, and you’re not going to be different.”

“Sure, Volkan,” Cormier said with a grin. “Sure, Volkan.”

For more on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.



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