Daniel Cormier Details Impromptu Wrestling Match with Alex Pereira, Weighs in on Potential Fight Between ‘Poatan’ and Jon Jones

'DC' offered some insight on his backstage scrap with Pereira and weighs in on a potential showdown between the light heavyweight and heavyweight champions

Alex Pereira
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Daniel Cormier shared some insight on his impromptu wrestling match with light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira

‘Poatan’ had originally hoped to make a quick turnaround in Rio de Janeiro after successfully defending his title against Jamahal Hill at UFC 300. Unfortunately, a toe injury curbed those plans, but that doesn’t mean Pereira didn’t get a little action during fight week. 

A clip of Pereira wrestling around with the UFC Hall of Famer quickly made the rounds on social media, prompting many fight fans to reassess Pereira’s grappling game. 

Offering some clarity on the situation during a recent episode of his ESPN show Good Guy/Bad Guy with co-host Chael Sonnen, ‘DC’ suggested that Pereira only put him on the ground because he was putting Pereira “over.” 

“You know what’s weird though man? I play around with these guys, and I’m getting taken down.” Cormier said of his UFC 301 media day wrestling match with Pereira. “There was a while back that people thought Khabib could actually take me down in a true wrestling situation. You know Chael, you always put the active guy over.”

He continued, “That’s what you do as a person that’s done with the sport. What do I gain in trying to take down Alex Pereira? It just doesn’t work that way Chael.”

For those unfamiliar, to “put someone over” in the world of professional wrestling refers to the act of a wrestler losing to another wrestler. 

Daniel Cormier Comments on Jon Jones’ Callout of Alex Pereira

Sticking with the subject of Alex Pereira, Daniel Cormier offered his take on the recent back-and-forth between ‘Poatan’ and the promotion’s undisputed UFC heavyweight world champion, Jon Jones.

‘Bones’ made waves on X when he suggested that a heavyweight clash with Pereira would be the biggest possible fight the UFC could make right now — and one he’s interested in. 

“He’s smart,” Cormier said, referring to Jones. “If I’m an Olympic wrestler or a national champion, and I’m watching the landscape of things, valuing the money vs. the fame, vs. the championships and everything else, I’m doing exactly what Jon’s doing. I’m saying to myself, ‘I’ve been in there with the most scary, dangerous men in the world. I have been in there with extremely well-rounded guys, with tremendous kickboxers, with super heavy punchers. I’ve been able to manage that. But who I haven’t been in there with is a guy that is a straight kickboxer.’

“While he has improved tremendously in his grappling, no one would ever say that’s Alex Pereira’s strength. His strength is his striking, and he can knock you out. … Not everybody hits like Francis Ngannou or Alex Pereira, but if you can get away from that and manage that, it’s much less risky than fighting a guy with a full skillset, that’s complete. That’s exactly what Tom Aspinall looks to be. So I love what Jon is doing in terms of being smart, and finding the right matchup. I don’t know that it’ll fly.”

In fact, ‘DC’ sees Alex Pereira doing the exact same thing after he recently dismissed a potential fight with Magomed Ankalaev in favor of a rematch with former light heavyweight king Jiri Prochazka

“Give a tip to the cap to the champion,” Cormier continued. “The champ goes, ‘Hey, I think Jiri Prochazka is next. Ankalaev is going to have to wait.’ Smart! Alex, why would you fight Ankalaev? He’s going to try and wrestle you. Go fight the dude you’ve knocked out already.

“These athletes are much smarter today than they were before, and I believe it makes for the sport to be even more interesting. I love it. I love what Jon is doing, I love what Alex is doing, but I think Jon is choosing, ‘I’m not fighting Tom Aspinall!’”

Watch the full episode below:

Published on May 7, 2024 at 10:22 pm
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