Daniel Cormier admits he was star struck, if only for a little bit, by Anderson Silva standing across from him inside the Octagon on July 9, 2016 at the UFC 200 pay-per-view (PPV) event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sure, "DC" went on to dominate "The Spider" for three rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory (see it), but as he told Jim Rome (via Bloody Elbow), when you're about to throw down with one of the greatest of all time, you have to take the moment in.
"All day Friday I'm telling myself I'm just going to smash him, I don't care that its Anderson Silva, I'm just going to smash this dude. And when I looked across from him and he's crouching, he's in his Spider position. In that moment, I did kind of have that one moment where I went wow, that's Anderson Silva."
Despite the win, Cormier received some criticism for his performance (like this), as the boo-birds rang down from the T-Mobile Arena, as the desperately wanted to see a standup war.
But as Cormier says, his strategy of wearing his foe down with multiple takedowns and ground-and-pound was the best option for him to get the job done. Because had he lost, his MMA path would've been rather murky.
"It was me fighting in the way I needed to and what am I supposed to do standing in front of Anderson Silva," he said. "It would be catastrophic if I lost that fight to Anderson, still was the champion, and then Anderson went down a weight class and challenged for the belt, like where I was supposed to go from there."
Nevertheless, Cormier and Silva are now a bit richer thanks to their services and "DC" will look to defend his title against the winner of the upcoming Light Heavyweight affair between Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira, which is set to go down at U