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IV ban or no, Daniel Cormier says he's never going back to heavyweight

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LOS ANGELES -- The impending USADA-mandated ban on post-fight IV rehydration has led to rampant speculation around the sport of mixed martial arts that we'll see a mass movement of fighters up in weight class.

But don't count Daniel Cormier among that group. The 36-year-old UFC light heavyweight champion was undefeated as a heavyweight before making the drop down to 205 pounds, but he says he doesn't foresee a situation in which he'd ever go back to 265.

And while the move was originally made because he doesn't want to cross paths with friend and teammate Cain Velasquez, Cormier says since making the move, he's found competing against people his size is much preferable to tangling with giants.

"When I made that decision, I was fine fighting guys those size," Cormier said at a Monday media event promoting his UFC 192 fight against Alexander Gustafsson. "Now I'm not fine with it, I'm fighting in this division against guys who are more my size. When I grab these dudes, compared to the other guys, the difference is unbelievable. It's unbelievable how much smaller they are."

Cormier's resume at 265 includes victories over the likes of "Bigfoot" Silva, Josh Barnett, Frank Mir, and Roy Nelson. But the champ says as he looks back, he has a hard time believing he event competed in the division in the first place.

"I'm scared of Josh Barnett," Cormier said. "I'm scared of every one of them. I walk past them and I'm like, ‘that dude is huge.' Andrei Arlovski is massive. What in the world would I have done if I had to fight him? He's thick, big, and tall. I've trained with him. I'm looking at him and going, dude, did I shrink or are these dudes that much bigger than me?"

DC says he's not phased by the move to the IV ban, as he competed under such a ban at the highest levels of amateur wrestling. But he anticipates some fighters will get into some trouble over the next few months.

"My biggest concern with this is, early, guys will try to go around it, and they'll get in trouble," said Cormier. "This is what I think. From personal experience with guys in wrestling, they'll go around it, and they'll get in trouble. When USADA came on board, these guys have no idea what they're getting into. This is a whole different level. If you have been doing things, and you think you're going to continue to get away with it with USADA on board, you're in trouble."