"The Chad Griggs fight, I would definitely entertain that fight. I think that's a good fight because I think it's a natural progression. He's coming off of a big win, I've been picking up some big wins, he fights for Strikeforce and people are going to start to know him. I say let's do it. I think it's a good fight for me and a good fight for the fans. He'll stand in there and swing 'em and I'll stand in there and swing 'em....Let's do something at the end of the year or beginning of the year; let's do it! Honestly, I would find some comfort in knowing that I avenged Bobby's loss," stated Strikeforce heavyweight Daniel Cormier as he talked about his recent win over Jason Riley at Strikeforce: Houston, his future plans, including a potential clash with Bobby Lashley conqueror Chad Griggs, and much more.
PC: Congratulations on your win at Strikeforce: Houston. How did it feel to get that win in front of so many members of your family and friends?
DC: It felt good, Perc, man. I was excited about fighting there because it was so close to home. That was my biggest thing when I took the King of the Cage fight. Everybody was worried about me in case I got hurt or something to where I would have had to pull out of the Strikeforce fight. It was worth it because I got to fight on TV, but my biggest concern was not being able to fight in front of my family. And when I did, it was great. Even though everybody was like, "We drove 3 1/2 hours for a 1-minute fight," but I don't think they would have preferred it any other way. I think they wanted me to get in and out and not get hurt. I think everybody was concerned. We had a great time in Houston, man. I loved it.
PC: I was sitting right behind your parents and they were a little on edge before the fight, so I'm sure a quick fight didn't bother them one bit.
DC: Yeah man. My parents are a little older, you know, so they don't need the stress of me being in wars. Watching Mo's fight had to be hard enough for them. If both of us would have been in wars that night, it might have been a little too much for them to handle. They may not have been able to come anymore. It was fast, but again, bitter sweet because of Mo's fight. They love him so much and it was genuine concern on their behalf for him. My dad said, "That boy's a fighter." You know how them old men from Louisiana talk (laughing). He goes, "That boy there, Mo Lawal, is a fighter. He held on to that leg to the very last second of that fight. He gon be back, nah!" It was comforting and soothing to hear because when people really care about him and you, that makes you see how much confidence they have in your ability to fight through adversity.
PC: It's always great to have support at your fights, I'm sure, but with so many members of your family there, was it a little added pressure for you?
DC: Me personally, Perc, I like having my family there because I can feel the support. My preparation doesn't change because I don't see anybody for too long. But in terms of them being in stands, it doesn't add any pressure. You know why, man? Because I know that my family will love me through whatever; win, lose or draw. You know, a lot of times, you deal with fickle fans and different people in a certain market, but you know that those people that are sitting there, with those tense eyes and those scared eyes when you're walking to that cage to fight, will love you regardless. They will love you with 30 stitches in your face, unbruised, and they will love you with a win or a loss. Having them there is good because those are the people that I can't let down. Me just doing positive things is enough for them.
PC: You've never really started any of your fights going right into your wrestling. You actually attempted to do that against Riley and he was well-prepared for it. Were you surprised he was so prepared for your wrestling?
DC: I didn't do a good job of setting up that attack. It's like going back to Bobby Lashley; we gotta set up our attacks, man. It leaves you open for things. But I was surprised. I thought Jason did a good job of defending that first single leg. And even the second one I threw at him to catch his ankle, he kinda slid it out. It was surprising, but it's a wakeup call. I can't just fall back on my wrestling knowing that I'm a better wrestler. It's totally different. I gotta set people up. I told Mo that just the other day. I said, "Say brother, as soon as you get back in the gym, call me. I need to come down there and work with you on setting up takedowns through my punches because you're better at it." That's the beauty of me, him and Rashad because we can admit where we are weaker and where they are better. A lot of people can't do that man, but our egos are checked at the door. When we get in the gym, we know we're all in it for one reason and one reason only and that's to help each other get better.
PC: You fought 3 times in one month and pretty much walked away with no scratches. That's gotta be a good feeling my man?
DC: Hey Percy, man, I was just kind of looking at the fights the other day. I think the guy from Australia hit me once from his back; this guy threw one jab and Tony Johnson kind of grazed me a couple of times, but he hit me a couple of times in the clinch. I didn't get hit 10 times in 3 fights. I came away pretty healthy, man, from a physical standpoint. Emotionally drained, but physically, I'm fine. But emotionally, Perc, I'm pretty drained and I need this break I'm taking right now. It's straining to fight this much. If you ask any fighter, they will tell you that the physical part of it is tough, but it's more emotions, man. You're in an 8-week training camp where your emotions are high and you are running on adrenaline and the idea that one day, everything will be a culmination of all of your hard work, and that's on fight night. With me, it's like I get so up for the fights, I've never had that chance to come down because I've been fighting so often. After every fight, ask any fighter how much you just crash. We'll go home and sleep for 2 days afterwards. You crash from the 8 weeks in camp and the abnormity of the fight. I never had that because I was in fight mode every week. It was hard, so emotionally, it feels good not to have anything on the plate.
PC: Once you hit Riley with the overhand right, it seemed as if he packed it in from there. He turned and tapped from strikes, so you have recorded 2 submission wins in a row.
DC: (Laughing) Yeah man. It is my second submission win in a row and he submitted due to those strikes. I hit him with the right hand and it seemed like it froze him. He threw his hands up and he started to defend himself and then I took him down and he turtled up from there. Once you do that, if a guy has any kind of killer instinct, he will just go to work. I was in my favorite position because I like half guard, man. I'm a wrestler and I like feeling like I have some kind of control from the bottom, so I was in my favorite position and I was able to crash down some big shots on him. He turned over and tapped out.
PC: You guys at Team Thirsty definitely have a brotherhood type of relationship. Bobby Lashley is a part of that brotherhood. Would you entertain the thought of fighting Chad Griggs to avenge Lashley's loss? I also saw you went at Rampage for trying to go at King Mo on Twitter. Explain that for me as well.
DC: It's like this man, if you are on a playground and your brother, Percy, is playing basketball and somebody knocks him down, it's your natural reaction to defend him; always! That's what happened. It's like something inside of us. My emotion was to say, "Hey man, what are you doing? Nobody is perfect." And I really took a lot of flack for this from a lot of fans on the internet because they are saying I'm out of line and I'm not established enough to speak Rampage's name. That's fine. I never disrespected that man. I don't disrespect Rampage. All I'm saying is, "Hey, nobody is perfect." And for this dude to come out and talk about Mo like it's never happened to him, guess what? At the end of the day, they are both coming off of losses right now. There is no difference in them. They are both coming off of losses right now. How are you going to judge that man? Mo has a connection to Rashad Evans, so Mo and Rashad could talk about how it felt to beat Rampage. Rampage doesn't know "Feijao," so he's not going to be calling him up and talking about how it felt to beat Mo. I thought he was just so out of line man. And for a guy to accomplish as much as he has and is a legend in the sport and future Hall of Famer, you would hope that he would be bigger than that. But obviously, in that case, he wasn't and I think that goes to show you that when Rampage was saying, "Who is King Mo and what has he done," he really was thinking about Mo. He had Mo on his mind, which is crazy, but it also shows you how important Mo became in a short period of time in the sport of mixed martial arts.
As far as Chad Griggs, first off, I congratulate Chad because I thought he did a great job and fought a great fight. He's tough and durable; a legitimate fighter. This dude is 9-1 and now he has a huge win on his record. He's a legitimate threat to anybody he fights. I think he's tough, but Bobby was put into some positions where he didn't deal with the adversity as well as he could have. And you know what? The Chad Griggs fight, I would definitely entertain that fight. I think that's a good fight because I think it's a natural progression. He's coming off of a big win, I've been picking up some big wins, he fights for Strikeforce and people are going to start to know him. I say let's do it. I think it's a good fight for me and a good fight for the fans. He'll stand in there and swing 'em and I'll stand in there and swing 'em. It's not going to be me just taking him down. I will stand in there in front of him and we will bang it out. I think it's a real entertaining fight and I think people should want to see it because it's a natural progression. Both of us are free right now and if Strikeforce decides to put it on the table, I would sign that contract in a heartbeat! Let's do something at the end of the year or beginning of the year; let's do it! Honestly, I would find some comfort in knowing that I avenged Bobby's loss. It's always hard to watch your friends go out like Bobby did or like Mo did. I would find some joy in that and I would do it and I think it's the right thing right now. You put him in a fight with other people, or me in a fight with other people, and you gotta find opponents. We know he will fight anybody by him taking that fight with Lashley. We eliminate the problem of finding both of us opponents by matching us against one another. I'm too young in the game to call people out and I'm not calling this guy out; I'm just saying that would be a fun fight.
PC: Congrats again on the win. Good seeing you out there my man. Give me some closing thoughts.
DC: Follow us at www.wethirsty.com and follow me at @Cormier2010 on Twitter and always read FightHype. Like I always say, it's the best site on the internet covering boxing and mixed martial arts. Support us all man. King Mo will be back; he's a strong guy and we're all going to get together and refocus man and reset those goals and rebuild that man from where he is now because it's a family. We're going to rebuild him back into the champion that he is. He's a great fighter and he will be back!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]