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ROUNDTABLE: Where does Daniel Cormier rank in the heavyweight division? Who should he face in eventual UFC debut?
May 22, 2012 - 6:20:39 PM
Where do you rank Daniel Cormier in the heavyweight division after his decisive decision win over Josh Barnett, and who in the UFC would you like to see him face first when he eventually heads to the Octagon?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Cormier is either one slot ahead or behind Cain Velasquez. And that determination comes down to whether or not you think Cain's consecutives over Nogueira and Lesnar trump Cormier's consecutive wins over Bigfoot Silva and Barnett. Personally, Ithink that with Cormier's pair of big wins being current, and factoring in the fact that Cain's wrestling coach is.... Daniel Cormier, I've got Cormier ahead of Velasquez by the slimmest of margins. So I've got JDS #1, Cormier #2, and Velasquez #3 in the division.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
He was pretty impressive in that fight. Couple that with the heavyweight division being possibly the weakest division in MMA and I'd say he's top three. I think he should fight whomever the UFC Heavyweight Champion is at the time. I don't think anyone else really has a stronger case than Cormier at this point.
ANWAR PEREZ, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Daniel Cormier put the heavyweight division on notice with his impressive dominance over Josh Barnett. When he steps into the Octagon, and with this Grand Prix under his belt, I can see him being positioned into a number one contender fight. What makes sense is putting him against the loser of the Mir-Dos Santos fight. That's a good step-up in competition for Cormier, but the performances he's put on in the past year prove that he can handle it.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I am a huge fan of Daniel Cormier. His wrestling is the best in the heavyweight division. He is an amazing athlete with good striking. As good as he has been on the way to his Strikeforce Grand Prix title, he has not been in with the best fighters in the world. I feel like he is a top ten fighter for sure, but he needs to beat a few UFC fighters in order to make a claim to be a top five heavyweight. I would love to see him fight Shane Carwin for his first fight in the UFC. Carwin needs a big and interesting name to come back against and Cormier fits that roll. It is a fight that the UFC can sell as well. For Cormier this will tell us right away where he stacks up against the talent in the UFC.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Shane Carwin would be my pick, I really want to see what he can do against some of the super-size heavyweights. If Shane isn't availiable let him fight the loser of Mir-dos Santos or Werdum. His ranking is an entirely different story though, how he gets ranked really depends on whether or not you elect to rank Alistair Overeem. With Reem ranked he's a #5 or #6 spot, without Alistair hes at least a top five guy. He's never been taken down and he's decisevly won each of his fights, so how can you deny him a top spot? The man is incredibly talented.
ALEX WILLIAMS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I have Daniel Cormier ranked fourth. I wouldn't mind seeing him get a shot at Junior dos Santos in his first match in, though it makes sense if the UFC wants to build him up with a bout before he fights for the title. If that's the case, I'd like to see Cormier vs. Shane Carwin or Fabricio Werdum.
DAN MOORE, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR
If you take Alistair Overeem out of the equation (I have), then he comfortably slots into the lower end of the top five UFC heavyweights. If there was more depth to the division i'd have been inclined to place him lower until he'd proven himself, win or lose, against someone truly elite. Taking into account the recurring hand injury sustained last Saturday, it would be ludicrous to then further delay his UFC debut with another worthless fight in Strikeforce. His first UFC fight seems light years away so it's very difficult to choose a first opponent, with so much likely to happen in between. At this moment in time I'm inclined to say Shane Carwin, who if fighting at 100%, would provide an extremely tough test for Cormier.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
I've got Daniel Cormier locked in at number seven on my top ten list, but that's only really due to his inexperience. Based on what we've seen from Cormier against "Bigfoot" Silva and Josh Barnett, we're looking at a guy with insane wrestling technique and enough savvy on the feet to give every heavyweight on the planet fits.
Once in the UFC, I think it's only right for Daniel Cormier to be rewarded with a title opportunity since he'd be coming in hotter than just about any other heavyweight in MMA.
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