Daniel Cormier On State Of The UFC LHW Division Now Compared To Five Years Ago: ‘How Long Can Alex Pereira Reign…’

UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier has underscored the remarkable transformation within the UFC light heavyweight division, emphasizing the stark contrast between its current state and that of just half a decade ago.

For years, the UFC light heavyweight belt was held by some of the sport’s most iconic figures, such as Jon Jones, Chuck Liddell, and Cormier. However, none of them experienced the rapid ascent within the division like the reigning champion, Alex Pereira.

“Poatan” successfully defended his title twice in as many months, most recently delivering a stunning second-round head kick knockout against former rival Jiri Prochazka in the main event of UFC 303 last weekend.

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In just 13 professional MMA bouts and nine UFC appearances, Pereira has crafted an extraordinary legacy. He became the ninth fighter in UFC history to hold championships in two divisions. Remarkably, he is the first to capture titles in both the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions within a mere two-year span.

With years of fighting experience and his own status as a two-division UFC champion, Cormier possesses an intimate understanding of the fighters and the current dynamics of the 205-pound division.

“DC” observes that the landscape has dramatically shifted in the past five years, especially due to Pereira’s dominance and exceptional striking prowess…

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Cormier Highlights Dramatic Change in Current LHW Fighting Styles

During a recent episode of ESPN’s Good Guy / Bad Guy with Chael Sonnen, Cormier delved into the current state of the light heavyweight division, with “Poatan” reigning as champion and his challengers on the horizon.

They discussed Magomed Ankalaev’s recent challenge to Pereira, where the undefeated Dagestani intriguingly promised not to rely on wrestling in their potential title fight.

“DC” pointed out that five or six years ago, the top fighters in the division primarily had wrestling or grappling backgrounds. In contrast, the present-day contenders are increasingly reliant on striking skills.

Look at this weight  class right now, Chael, I see no wrestlers.” Cormier said. “I don’t see any wrestlers all the way to #10. #6 guy in the world is Nikita Krylov.”

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The former Olympian further assessed the prospects of dethroning Pereira, considering the challengers’ fighting styles.

“If nobody wrestles this guy, Chael, how long can Alex Pereira reign at top of the division? Because it feels if you’re forced to stand with him and strike with him, you really have no chance.”

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