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Daniel Cormier says Rashad Evans can't take him down, wants title shot next

LOS ANGELES -- Daniel Cormier knows that his UFC 170 co-main event against Rashad Evans is going to be a tough fight.

He just doesn't think Evans can score a takedown.

Cormier, who will make his light heavyweight debut at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Feb. 22 against the former champion, was an Olympic wrestler. Neither Evans, who wrestled at Michigan State, nor current champion Jon Jones, a junior college wrestler, can make that claim.

And Cormier wasn't afraid to hammer home that point on Wednesday at a downtown media luncheon promoting the card.

"I'm not going to be taken down," Cormier said. "I spent a lifetime developing that skill and I'm not getting taken down. When I look at a fight against another wrestler, this is how I approach it. In the sport that we all chose, I got to the top. People don't just quit wrestling. You stop because you hit the end of the road, whereas I just continued to go.

"So in the sport I chose, Rashad chose, Jon Jones chose, and the rest of those guys chose, I went to the top of that sport," Cormier continued. "So no, I'm not getting taken down."

While Cormier acknowledges that Alexander Gustafsson has a legitimate claim to a shot at Jones' title, should Jones defeat Glover Teixeira and Gustafsson dispose of Jimi Manuwa, Cormier feels that with a victory over Evans, he'll stake his own claim for a title shot.

"I think some things have to happen, with Gustafsson fighting as well as he did last time he probably will get a championship fight first," Cormier said. "But if I fight well enough, anything can happen. Nothing is promised in the UFC. If I fight well enough I hope to get the title shot."

A win over Evans would be his third over a former UFC champion in under two years, including his victories over former heavyweight champs Josh Barnett and Frank Mir.

"I kind of think my resume speaks for itself," Cormier said. "If I beat Rashad, he will be my third UFC champion in a row and my fifth win in the top 10. Most guys don't have to win that many times in a row to get a championship fight."

Cormier feels the mere fact they're putting him in the Octagon with a fighter of Evans' caliber in his 205-pound debut speaks to the UFC's potential plans for him.

"To fight a guy like Rashad, it says a lot about what I've done so far," Cormier said. "You don't get to fight those type of guys. Those guys are reserved for the best guys. Fights against Rashad Evans, you don't just get those. You have to earn those fights and I've earned that fight. it tells me a lot of what the UFC thinks about what I've done so far and where I want to go, because if I win this fight, it's going to be very hard to ignore what I've done."

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