Cormier: Johnson needs to knock me out

‘I want to prove something’ – Pacquiao on his bout against Thurman

UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier isn’t concerned about the threat Anthony Johnson poses ahead of their title fight at UFC 206 on December 10. 

Johnson earned a shot at the title after knocking out Glover Teixeira in just 13 seconds at UFC 202 in July. 

However, Cormier believes that Johnson won’t be able to take his UFC light heavyweight title if he doesn’t knock him out early on. 

“I respect Anthony, I like Anthony a lot, I’ll be honest with you,” Cormier said on The MMA Hour. “I think he’s a phenomenal fighter. I think he’s tough as nails, he hits hard as can be, but the truth is if he doesn’t knock me out, he can’t win the fight, and that’s really not enough. You can’t have one avenue to victory.

“He has to knock me out because I know Anthony Johnson can’t out-hustle me over 25 minutes. I know Anthony Johnson’s not gonna submit me. I know the only way he’s going to beat me is to knock me out, and one avenue to victory is not enough.”

Cormier also admitted that he is excited about fighting Johnson again as when the pair last met at UFC 187 in May last year, it was for the vacant light heavyweight title. Cormier came out on top in that bout, forcing Johnson to submit in the third round. 

Since that loss, Johnson has won three fights via knockout and none have gone past the second round. 

“I’m extremely motivated to fight him,” Cormier said. “I like how Anthony looks so phenomenal in his fights that people kinda make him into King Kong. It’s like he’s 10 feet tall, and I like that. I like people viewing him in that way, cause then I get to go out and smash on him and show them that it doesn’t matter what you build these people into.

“Whenever [two guys] go into the Octagon and they fight, the guy that’s more skilled and more well-rounded is going to beat him, so I like that they build him into this superman.”