Newly minted Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight kingpin Daniel Cormier may come off as a tough guy when delivering a promo, but most people close to "DC" confirm that he truly is a softy at heart.
Some might say the proof is in the pudding. Or in this case, cake.
That's why it shouldn't come as a surprise that the former Olympian admitted he felt bad for Ryan Bader when UFC brass announced they chose Alexander Gustafsson for a title shot over "Darth."
The choice was a shock to most in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community, as "Gus" most recently was knocked out by former No. 1 contender Anthony Johnson, while Bader has won four straight fights -- albeit in dreadfully boring fashion.
Not to mention the bad blood between Cormier and Bader that boiled over at the UFC 187 post-fight press conference (watch that here), which seemed to all but guarantee the No. 3-ranked light heavyweight the next crack at the belt.
Or so we thought.
When Dana White broke the news that Gustafsson would indeed be fighting "DC" next, the champ told FOX Sports that he was surprised by the decision, and disheartened for his former foe.
"Honestly, I do I feel bad for him. You know what that almost tells me, honestly? It almost doesn't matter what he does in any situation regardless of what's going on, it will be hard for him to get a title fight. Because if there was a situation where he was going to get one, this would be it.
Everything was there. From his press conference stunt to him being the only guy in the division on a win streak, if I was Ryan and his team I'd be pretty bummed out right now actually."
Don't worry Cormier, you can bet Bader and his team are more than upset right now.
Gustafsson, on the other hand, couldn't be more happy!
It is water under the bridge now, as the only thing left to do for Cormier and Gustafsson is sign on the dotted line for a specific date. Speaking of which, the light heavyweight champ mentioned October as his preferred date for his Octagon return.
"I'd love to fight again soon, but realistically the date I would love is October in Houston. That would be ideal for me. I have some things I need to take care of physically. In the last year and a half, I've fought four times, I'm probably one of the most active guys in the UFC and as you know before the initial (Jon) Jones fight I had some knee issues and did some treatment to it to get through the second training camp and the fight. During this last camp for 'Rumble' my knee started acting up again so I'm going to get that checked out."
Hopefully Cormier's knee is patched up and ready to go at UFC 192 on October 3, so he and the towering Swede can throw down for the UFC title.