Andy Ruiz Jr. shocked the world when he defeated Anthony Joshua to become the new unified boxing heavyweight champion earlier this month. Many had counted him out purely due to his physique leading up to the fight. However, one person in combat sports who knows that physique doesn’t matter is UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Cormier has always been one of the more chubby fighters in the UFC, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming light heavyweight, as well as heavyweight champion. His setbacks against Jon Jones aside, “DC” has beaten every other competitor he has faced, who were usually always bigger and in better shape than him.
And given his as well as Ruiz’s recent success, Cormier believes more people should open their eyes and realize there’s more to a fight than how a fighter looks:
“Man, all that physical sh*t don’t mean nothing,” Cormier told TMZ. “Like everybody talks about, ‘go be a bodybuilder’ if you think that your physique is what’s going to determine a fight. Every time I go out there, I go out there with these guys that look like they’re freaking musclemen but then I just kick their a**es. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t mean they work harder. It doesn’t mean they do things better. People are genetically the way that they are.“
“Andy Ruiz may look like a guy who isn’t in the best visual shape but that dude’s an athlete. Look at his Instagram, look at his work ethic, his feet are very quick, his hands are very quick and he’s got a killer’s mentality. It’s all you need, it’s a fight. If you look at two guys on a scale, and visually go, ‘that guy is going to win,’ you’re an idiot. You got to know that there’s much more to fighting than how a guy looks. If you want to look at physiques all the time, then go get some damn modeling magazines or something. That’s where you belong.“
It’s certainly hard to disagree with what Cormier is saying, and he could prove it further when he defends his heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 241, which takes place August 17. It could also be the 40-year-old’s last fight before he calls it a career.