Where does Cormier’s beatdown over Cummins put him in the LHW division?

Posted: February 26, 2014 in Commentary/Opinion

Daniel-Cormier-1It’s hard to gather any real information about Daniel Cormier’s first foray into the UFC Light Heavyweight division. He easily dominated a guy whose ability is miles beneath him. As we predicted, Patrick Cummins had exactly zero chance of defeating DC, and Cormier didn’t mess around.

But what can be taken from this fight? Anything? Well, for one, he made the 205 limit. That’s a significant point here for a guy who has never fought below heavyweight in his pro career. And let’s not completely dismiss his destruction of Cummins as meaningless, as I’ve heard it described. We’ve seen plenty of lopsided fights (on paper) go down as lackluster performances by the heavy favorite, so DC’s manhandling of Cummins isn’t a total push in my book.

So where does he fit after this fight? I have no problem putting Cormier up into the top 5. He’s not only fought well at heavyweight, but he’s defeated legit contenders at that weight class. Bigfoot, Barnett, Mir, Dion Staring Nelson…that’s an impressive list in anyone’s book. Now he’s fighting guys his own size.

Let’s look at the official UFC rankings (presented by RAM). #1 is Alexander Gustafsson. It’s hard to argue with this spot after seeing his performance against the previously indestructible Jon Jones. He’s quite a bit longer than Cormier, but really, wasn’t Bigfoot, Mir and Barnett too? #2 is Glover Teixeira. Here’s a case where there are so few fresh contenders in the LHW divisions that I think Glover benefitted from creative matchmaking just to prevent him from losing to one of the stale old guys filling the rest of the rankings. I’m not down on Glover; I just think his track record so far in the UFC is quite a bit lower than his lofty spot on this list.

#3 is Rashad Evans. Jones already took it to Evans once and he never really gave us any indication that the same wouldn’t happen again. A matchup with DC has to favor Cormier in my opinion. #4 is Phil Davis. Re-read everything I said about Teixeira and add an asterisk which includes a very controversial win over former champ Lyoto Machida.

The final member of the official top 5 is Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. No offense to Little Nog at all, but he should never sniff any top 5 in 2014. Somehow he defeated a disinterested Evans, but please. This is a depressing indication of the state of my former favorite division.

In my eyes, how can anyone argue that Cormier’s spot in the division falls somewhere high on this list? I would match him up favorably with all of these fighters. In fact, I’d go out on a limb and bet on him to beat all of them. Gus is the most intriguing because of his length, but I think DC could handle it.

So to answer my own question (where does Cormier fall?); here’s my personal top 5 after Jon Jones…

  1. Alexander Gustafsson
  2. Daniel Cormier
  3. Glover Teixeira
  4. Phil Davis
  5. Rashad Evans
  1. […] for Cormier, I doubt anyone questions his credentials at this point. And the Pat Cummins fight wasn’t exactly his fault. But the fact is, he’s had […]

  2. […] been back and forth on the topic of light heavyweight contenders recently. Are contenders skipping the top 10 and going straight o earning title shots? Well, it […]

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