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Daniel Cormier finding ways to make Rashad Evans his 'enemy'

Esther Lin

Daniel Cormier will drop from heavyweight to light heavyweight when he meets former champion Rashad Evans in UFC 170's co-main event.

But according to the undefeated former Strikeforce Grand Prix champion, the weight cut hasn't been the toughest part of his fight preparation. Instead, the most difficult aspect has been trying to make his friend and colleague into an enemy.

"I've got pictures of Rashad cornering me in Strikeforce," Cormier said on a Wednesday media teleconference. "So, you know, our relationship is a little different than if I have to fight someone else. But as a professional you gotta put it aside and just train."

Cormier outlined some of the little mental tricks he's had to play on himself to psyche himself up for the fight.

"I've done some things to make Rashad my enemy on Feb. 22, that's what I do," Cormier said. "I step on the treadmill running and I listen to the music he comes to the cage to. I watch his fights different than I did before because I have to make him something that he's never been to me, and that's my opponent and my enemy on Feb. 22."

As for the cut down to 205 pounds, Cormier insists all is going well.

"It terms of weight management, it's been good, I've just had to manage it, I haven't had to cut weight to manage my weight. Because I've done that, it hasn't been as difficult as I've anticipated," Cormier said. "I feel great, I feel healthy, my training as going as well as I could have imagined, and I'm just ready to fight. It's no more difficult than getting prepared to wrestle in front of 20,000 people at the NCAA finals."

The cut down to light heavyweight, of course, is in large part due to the fact Cormier sees a more clear path to Jon Jones' belt then he would have at heavyweight, where friend and teammate Cain Velasquez reigns. But for now, at least, Cormier wants to shove all talk about Jones to the side.

"I think a lot of times when you're training to become the champion, you're setting your sights on the champion. You train for the best guy, but the moment you get a fight, your focus has got to change. That guy becomes the obstacle in front of you. I have a laser focus on Rashad Evans. That's all I can think about, because I know how good he is. If I don't train to fight Rashad Evans, I'm going to get beat. If I lose to Rashad Evans, all this talk about Jon Jones goes out the window."

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