Speaking to the media after the UFC 258 weigh-ins, Daniel Cormier shared his perspective on training partners going against each other inside the Octagon. In such a scenario, one of the two competitors is always aware of who is the better fighter judging by how training sessions went, according to DC.
Giving insights on his training sessions with former teammate Cain Velasquez at AKA (American Kickboxing Academy), DC revealed that Velasquez would easily get the better of him. Ergo, Cormier did not compete for the heavyweight strap when Velasquez reigned as the undisputed champion of the division.
"Because I knew what would happen in the training when I would fight Cain Velasquez, I never challenged him for the title. I did not know what I could change in order to beat him."
Daniel Cormier also mentioned the rivalry between former light heavyweight champions Rashad Evans and Jon Jones. The two combatants were former teammates who fought at UFC 145 in 2012. DC pointed out that each of the two competitors must have noticed an opening in their opponent's gameplan. This might have prompted the two fighters to sign the dotted line.
Daniel Cormier believes there is animosity between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns
Daniel Cormier is of the notion that when a dominant champion like Kamaru Usman is challenged by his former teammate Gilbert Burns, it might rub the Nigerian Nightmare the wrong way.
"I think anybody that would be a champ and has one of his former teammates saying, 'I want what you got', is very disrespectful. It does motivate you to a degree. I think we saw that with Usman, right?"
Daniel Cormier believes that Kamaru Usman is underappreciated as an MMA athlete. If victorious at UFC 258, the Nebraska native will cement his legacy by surpassing the record for most title defenses set by Georges St-Pierre.
"The guy has not lost a fight since he got here (in the UFC). He is a dominant champion that has shown on so many occasions that he can go and fight with anybody."
On February 13, Kamaru Usman will be facing his toughest challenge stylistically. His opponent, Gilbert Burns, is a world-class Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who is not afraid to take the fight to the ground. It will be interesting to see whether Usman will be able to implement his patented dominant wrestling against a decorated BJJ master.