Daniel Cormier believes he has to remove the “stench” of last summer’s defeat to Jon Jones when he steps into the ring against Volkan Oezdemir.
Cormier suffered only the second defeat of his UFC career last July when Jones again triumphed in the rematch between the pair to take the light heavyweight title.
But with Jones subsequently testing positive for banned substances and the belt restored to Cormier, the 38-year-old will defend the championship against the dangerous Oezdemir at UFC 220 next month.
Me vs Volkan Oezdemir pic.twitter.com/yBbXKRhYa4
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) December 30, 2017
However, although the Jones loss was subsequently reversed, Cormier still feels like it’s a cloud hanging over him as he makes his competitive return.
Cormier said: “I feel like after the fight, there’s a stench, a stink on me from just a bad fight, a bad build-up, a bad result, a bad everything.
— Volkan Oezdemir (@volkan_oezdemir) December 30, 2017
“I have to right that by not only beating Volkan Oezdemir, but really dominating him and smashing him. I’m going to smash him on January 20th.
“That’s the only way I can feel better being the competitor that I am.”