UFC 170: Daniel Cormier will 'hurt' Rashad Evans to get his title shot, but he's not going to like it

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

Though Daniel Cormier preferred to fight someone else other than his friend and colleague Rashad Evans, he knows it's an obstacle he must overcome if he wants his much-desired shot at a UFC title.

Rashad Evans already fought and defeated one of his FOX Sports 1 colleagues, dismantling Chael Sonnen in the first round at UFC 167 last month (see it here), and now "Suga" will look to do it again as he takes on Daniel Cormier at UFC 170 on Feb. 22, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The light heavyweight fight, which will be a five-round main event, will be the first for "DC" in the division, having competed at heavyweight his entire mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

And it's a bout the former Olympian initially didn't want, but understands that if he wants to get a crack at the division strap, he must try to "hurt" a guy he really likes to get there.

He broke it down on a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour:"

"Yup, it's official, Rashad and I are going to main event that card, my first UFC main event against a guy that, I think he's 22-3, most people do not get records like that without being really good fighters. Rashad won The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), light heavyweight champion, and I think this guy is going to be in the Hall of Fame one day. It's a true test to show where I am. I know you got to beat those types of guys if you want to get a championship fight. It is what it is."

He continues:

"I offered them (UFC) up a whole bunch of different scenarios and this was the fight that was going to happen. I would have preferred to fight someone else, but the UFC are going to make the fights and its our job to fight. I care about him a ton and I think he's a great guy, but now it's time to get down to business and were going to get in that cage and I have to try and hurt him. I can't go into the cage feeling like I don't want to hurt my buddy because otherwise he is going to hurt me and beat me and that will set me back and keep me from obtaining my goals."

Cormier has enjoyed much success in the 265-pound division, amassing a 13-0 record including winning his first two contests inside the Octagon against Frank Mir and Roy Nelson.

But his reluctance to fight friend and training partner and current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, and vice versa, a trip down to the 205-pound weight class was the only viable option if he wants to compete for a UFC title.

And a win over a former division kingpin might get him closer to a title fight against Glover Teixeira sometime next year, seeing as how Cormier is picking the Brazilian bomber to defeat Jon Jones when the two meet at UFC 171 on Mar. 15, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.

Anyone care to say otherwise?

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