Daniel Cormier Reacts to Makhachev vs. Oliveira Rematch at UFC 294; ‘There’s More to This Story Than We Know’

Cormier offered his thoughts on the lightweight title rematch as well as the middleweight clash between Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa

Daniel Cormier
Courtesy of @UFCNews and @ESPNMMA on Twitter

UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier is excited about the blockbuster announcements Dana White made regarding UFC 294.

In October, the promotion will head back to Abu Dhabi with a one-two punch of can’t-miss clashes inside the Octagon. On Wednesday, White revealed that the event will be headlined by a highly anticipated rematch between reigning UFC lightweight world champion Islam Makhachev and former titleholder Charles Oliveira. ‘Do Bronx’ came up short in their first meeting in October, suffering a second-round submission defeat. But after an impressive showing against Beneil Dariush at UFC 289, Cormier believes that we could see a much different version of Oliveira than the one that showed up at UFC 280 last year. 

“This fight happened last year. Oliveira told me in our interview that he wasn’t there. That he didn’t show up,” Cormier said in a video on his YouTube channel. “I thought that was very big of him to openly admit, ‘Look, man. I wasn’t there. I didn’t show up. It wasn’t me in the Octagon that night. I will be better the next time.’ Then he went out there and did what he did to Beneil Dariush and showed that he is better because he didn’t rush. He didn’t get hurt. That was the first fight I’ve seen Charles Oliveira not get dropped. He was on the bottom a little bit against Beneil, but he took no damage. 

“He was able to control the fight. How it went and he ended up dominating Beneil Dariush,” Cormier continued. “That was the best Charles Oliveira. So, when you look at that Charles Oliveira and you match him up with Islam again, you start to wonder. Is this version the version that can compete against the champion? And has it been long enough for him to forget what it felt like to be in there with him before?”

Daniel Cormier Comments on Khamzat Chimaev vs. Paulo Costa at UFC 294

Makhachev vs. Oliveira 2 wasn’t the only jaw-dropping fight revealed for the event. Dana White also announced that undefeated Chechen monster Khamzat Chimaev will make his long-awaited return against one-time UFC title challenger Paulo Costa. 

‘The Eraser’ was previously attached to a UFC 291 scrap with Russian standout Ikram Aliskerov, but a last-minute withdrawal led to rampant speculation regarding when Costa would actually return to the Octagon. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long to find out that he would be squaring off with Chimaev, who will be fighting for the first time in more than a year by the time UFC 294 rolls around.

“I don’t understand why Khamzat Chimaev has not fought again since he fought Kevin Holland. There’s more to this story than we know. Maybe I’ll do some digging to try and uncover it, but he’s fighting against Paulo Costa,” Cormier said.

“If he beats Paulo Costa, Khamzat Chimaev will have earned himself a title fight at 185 pounds. And I don’t think anyone I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. I don’t believe that beating Gilbert Burns, going up, and now beating Paulo Costa doesn’t get you a championship opportunity. It makes you the number one contender between Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis.”

Chimaev is currently 12-0 in his mixed martial arts career and has been nothing short of dominant in virtually every showing, with the exception of one. His UFC 273 scrap with Gilbert Burns was a highly competitive back-and-forth battle that ultimately saw ‘Borz’ outlast his opponent en route to a unanimous decision victory. 

“We thought that the Gilbert Burns fight was going to teach a lot about Khamzat, and it did,” Cormier added. “It taught us that he’s as good as they come. It also taught us that regardless of the level of competition, this young man is going to compete the same way and he did. He won a very competitive fight against Gilbert Burns, but Gilbert Burns’ willingness to stand in a fire and fight him is what made it a more competitive fight. Now he’s got a bigger guy in Paulo Costa who’s willing to do the same thing.”

Published on July 20, 2023 at 5:16 pm
Stay up-to-date with the latest MMA news, rumors, and updates by following the RED Monster on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Also, don't forget to add MiddleEasy to your Google News feed Follow us on Google News for even more coverage.


Leave a Comment