Like Rashad Evans before him, Daniel Cormier has decided to make the switch from heavyweight to light heavyweight. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, the undefeated 34 year-old is only 5’11. That’s not short by any means but when you’re fighting heavyweights who are mostly well above 6’0, moving down a weight class is certainly an appealing option.
The UFC wants him to fight the hard hitting 26 year-old Swedish striker Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson, but Cormier has recently said that he’ll only fight Gustafsson if the bout takes place in the U.S.
In a recent appearance on UFC Tonight, Cormier talked about his concerns regarding the fight with his Swedish counterpart:
“I have no problem fighting Alexander Gustafsson, not at all. The one thing I’m concerned about, being that it’s going to be my first time down at 205, I know that Gustafsson is going to fight in Europe somewhere. Whether it’s Sweden or somewhere else in Europe, I don’t want to be making my first weight cut down to 205 overseas. I know what I’m going to need, I want to find saunas here in the United States and all the food that I’m comfortable with in order to make the weight.”
As strange as that sounds, it makes sense considering Cormier’s position. It’s very possible that Cormier could be nervous to fight someone of Alexander Gustafsson’s caliber for his light heavyweight debut. Cormier would be putting his undefeated record on the line against a fighter who is 8 years younger, 6 inches taller and is considered to be the #2 light heavyweight fighter in the world.
Also, even though his concerns about saunas and food overseas may sound comical to some readers, it’s important to consider that Daniel Cormier has traveled abroad to compete many times before; he was an Olympic wrestler. He might have had some bad experiences with food overseas in the past during his Olympic career.
Cutting weight from heavyweight to light heavyweight can be very stressful, especially if you’re doing it for the first time ever and you have to fight someone like Alexander Gustafsson.