Daniel Cormier is typically a very jovial person. However, he was anything but that Wednesday evening after learning that his Feb. 22 light heavyweight debut against Rashad Evans had been canceled after Evans suffered a knee injury.
MMAFighting.com spoke to the noticeably upset Cormier moments after the news broke.
Ariel Helwani: How are you dealing with this news?
Daniel Cormier: It's very sad. I've had to do a lot of things different for this camp because of the weight, having to make this weight for the first time healthy and where I'm well enough conditioned. It's more than just training for a fight. It's all the other things I had to take into consideration. It's a completely different situation.
Is there a silver lining here where at least you know you can make the weight?
I can't see any silver lining right now. I was supposed to step into the cage next week against a guy I respect a million times over, a guy that's going to be in the UFC Hall of Fame, a guy that I've looked up to and unfortunately got hurt. Obviously, I want to wish him a speedy recovery. I kind of feel bad for him because he's my buddy, but I also really was prepared to fight.
Did you talk to the UFC?
Yeah, they said it's going to be hard to get someone on such short notice. I'm hoping I can get someone to fight. There's somebody out there that wants to step up to take a fight at this moment. I saw on Twitter that Chael wants to fight. Ok, let Chael fight. Anthony Johnson fought a couple of weeks ago, he's still in shape. Let him fight. Or if there's a heavyweight. I'll fight at heavyweight. There's somebody out there.
I don't want this work to be for nothing. I've killed myself in this gym. I've spent ten weeks away from my family. I haven't seen my girlfriend and kids because I've been training so hard. I go to the gym, I come home and I sleep. I see my girlfriend and my kids on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. That's the only time I have with my family. I don't want that to be for nothing.
They're in a tough situation. I make a lot of money and fights have to make sense with my position in the division. They have to make sense, I guess.
So you have no problem fighting Chael?
I'd fight Chael in a heartbeat. I 'd fight Anthony Johnson in a heartbeat. I'd fight any of those guys. There's somebody out there who wants to fight. Line 'em up. Then Rashad and I will fight later and that won't bother me. I just want to fight now. I just don't want this work to be for nothing. There's somebody out there that wants to fight.
They want to rebook the fight for later this year. Does that work for you?
They didn't tell me the next step. I would much rather fight now.
Financially, I'm going to miss out on a lot of money. There's a ton of factors with this situation. So, not only do I not get to fight, but financially, the money I've spent on this training camp ... And I'm not going to sit here and boohoo about money because I'm not one of those guys that's hurting for money. I don't want to disrespect any of the other guys in the UFC. I do get paid really good.
If Chael wants to fight, let him fight. If he says he wants to fight, let him fight. It's just such a tricky situation with my situation. I guess I can't just fight anybody.
Isn't it weird how you were just on a conference call with Evans a few hours ago?
I just saw "UFC Tonight." I thought it was funny. I thought he did a good job. I was walking out of my house to go train. I don't know what happens next. I got a lot of family going to this. Like, a lot of family. And I don't know what they're supposed to do now.
You've never been in this situation before, eh?
No, I never have. It's not like my family has a lot of money. This takes planning.
I hope they can do something. I hope they can find somebody that says OK. Roy Nelson lives in Vegas. He said he didn't like the way I fought last time. Maybe I'll fight him differently this time. Anybody.
How much do you currently weigh?
Waking up in the morning at about 220. Fourteen pounds overweight, which is exactly where I wanted to be on fight week. I think I was right on target.
I'm very sad. It's very sad, because I've worked hard. So if anyone wants to fight, let's fight. If Chael can fight, I'll go through Chael and then he can fight Wanderlei later. I promise I won't hurt him too bad.