The light-heavyweight champion admitted he was impressed by the GOAT and doesn't care about the boos for his performance
UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier admitted to being awestruck be Anderson Silva during their main event bout at UFC 200 and says he doesn't concern himself with how people rate his performances.
Cormier beat Silva via unanimous decision to pick up victory at the UFC's landmark event, but was met with a chorus of boos for employing wrestling tactics to stifle the free-flowing Silva.
"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," Cormier told Jim Rome. "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," he added.
Silva were widely commended for taking the fight at short notice after filling in for interim light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones for failing a drugs test. The crowd got behind the GOAT and booed Cormier for taking Silva to the ground on a number of occasions.
Jon Jones wept openly after testing positive for a banned substance and was subsequently pulled from the UFC 200 main event. Image: John Locher / AP/Press Association Images
"People like restoration projects, people like the comeback stories. As people, we’re rooting for Jon. I was saying he’s not going to change, he’s the same guy, and I think in that moment people were like he’s callous, he doesn’t have a heart in regards to this and people started to boo me and cheer Jon, and I think it’s just become what they do.
"Maybe they didn’t like the wrestling, maybe they just thought they didn’t like seeing Anderson get beat, but my job is to go out there and win. I’ve had my last three fights, against Jones was fight of the night, my fight against Rumble Johnson was performance of the night, and my fight against Alexander Gustafsson was fight of the night and number 2 fight of the year last year, so I’ve been involved in some barn burners."
The rivalry with Jones is as fierce as ever, seen clearly in the promotion of the fight and the two time Olympian says that he needs to move away from that situation for the time being.
"I need a little break from him, because this rivalry has made me ugly,” Cormier said. "It makes me react and behave in ways that I don’t usually behave. I’m the guy that’s smiling and hanging out and having fun. I’m the guy that will sit and talk to people and try to make people feel good.
"That’s why when people say stuff like that, it’s because they know me on a level that’s much different than what you see when I’m around Jones. It really does make me into a different person. So I really do need a break from him."
Via The Jim Rome Show