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Morning Report: Daniel Cormier says Luke Rockhold can’t help new teammate Volkan Oezdemir, because ‘Luke can’t beat me’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On Saturday evening at UFC 220, Daniel Cormier will be defending his light heavyweight title against Volkan Oezdemir. It will be Cormier’s fourth defense of the belt but for this fight, the champ will be missing something he had before for his camp - former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.

Cormier and Rockhold are long-time training partners from American Kickboxing Academy, but last year Rockhold began doing his training camps in Florida with Henri Hooft, citing a need for something new in his training. The move away from AKA was amicable but now Rockhold finds himself a training partner of the light heavyweight challenger Oezdemir. It’s a potentially sticky situation for Rockhold, or at least it could be, except the Cormier isn’t worried.

Speaking recently on a Facebook Q & A, Cormier dismissed the threat of Rockhold giving Oezdemir secrets with which to win the title, saying that Rockhold doesn’t have any to give because Rockhold could never beat him in the first place.

“Luke training with my opponent?” joked Cormier? “Meh. It doesn’t matter, Luke can’t really help him. Luke can’t beat me!” Cormier said before laughing. “What’s Luke going to teach him?”

Big words from light heavyweight champion but if there was anyone alive who could teach Oezdemir a few things about beating Cormier, aside from Jon Jones, Rockhold could well be the best option. Cormier has faith in their underlying friendship though, saying in a separate Q & A, this time with Fox Sports 1’s UFC Tonight, calling Rockhold “an innocent bystander” and saying that he respects Rockhold’s decision to leave AKA.

“You know he’s not telling him any secrets,” said Cormier. “Luke’s an innocent bystander in this thing. I know that it seems odd that he’s training at a new gym, but he needed to. I’m always doing TV, Cain’s been injured, so we’re away. His training situation has changed and it was very brave of him to make the move to find a better spot for himself.”

Cormier will defend his title on Saturday night at the TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Rockhold has his own title fight to prepare for, facing Yoel Romero for the interim middleweight title at UFC 221 on Feb. 11 in Perth, Australia.


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Daniel Cormier is too good for this sport, man. Just a perfect gentleman. And in a world without Jon Jones, he would undisputedly be one of the best fighters of all time. We should enjoy him this weekend y’all because we have very few Cormier fights left.

That’s all for today folks. Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.



Who wins this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Daniel Cormier
    (1437 votes)
  • 15%
    Volkan Oezdemir
    (268 votes)
  • 0%
    Draw/No Contest
    (15 votes)
1720 votes total Vote Now

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