NASHVILLE – Daniel Cormier gave us no reason to doubt his professionalism as a color commentator for the UFC, but one could imagine that remaining impartial while calling fights with his teammates must be a little challenging.
It's a good thing, then, that UFC on ESPN + 6 co-headliner Justin Willis plans to make it easy for the UFC heavyweight champion and stablemate partner of the American Kickboxing Academy on Saturday.
"I'm trying to get into this fight and dominate," Willis told reporters, including MMA Junkie, during a media day on Thursday. "So I don't think (Cormier) will talk too much about Curtis Blaydes."
Confidence is clearly not a problem for Willis who enters his first CFU co-main event less than four months after a big win over Mark Hunt. At the beginning of the week, Wednesday, "Big Pretty" had confidently told MMA Junkie of his plans to take the throne of heavyweight once Cormier had finished "doing what he was doing".
The way in which Willis (8-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) sees him, Blaydes (10-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is simply another step towards the end – and a victory is not a question of "if", but of "when". In fact, Willis is not only confident in a victory, but is not even worried about the main weapon of a man who plans to retire as the "best heavyweight wrestler ever".
"D.C., (ex-champion Cain Velasquez), overall, A.K.A, we are known for wrestling," said Willis. "And I entered there as just a fighter. A person who fights, with determination. And I imagine that by coming behind them, I was able to learn the defense, the offense. I was able to mix it and really become a complete martial artist.
"In their level of struggle, Curtis Blaydes is not in that kind of level. The wrestling chain, etc. etc. etc. I'm used to the creme de la creme of wrestling, it's not just him."
A win on the current fighter number 7 in the US TODAY Sports / MMA Junkie MMA heavyweight ranking would certainly put the unbeaten Willis, who is currently a mention of honor, in a privileged position in the weight division rather low maximum of CFUs.
But Willis, to put it politely, doesn't seem worried about these details right now.
"(Expletive) the division," said Willis. "(Unpredictable) all of them. It's the same thing I always say: I'm here to be great. Here, that's all. So I don't care about these guys. None of them. I'm here to just be fantastic, keep winning. "
Willis, however, has a specific view of what size would entail. And that wouldn't be just one, but two UFC belts.
"My goal, and I have been a little unshakable about this, is after winning this title, we need to open a super-heavy division," said Willis. "So I can win that too.
"… There are a lot of guys who have cut (weight). So the guys who don't have to cut can just create a new division, man. That's what it's about, man. I know I can put donkeys on the seats once the UFC starts giving me a little more light and I stop (cursing) around with me. "
To find out Willis' more immediate plans, though, we will have to wait until he finishes with Saturday's ESPN + television meeting at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
"To be honest with you, I only care about winning on Saturday," Willis said. "Later, when the emotions have passed, you guys will hear exactly what I have to say."
To listen to Willis, watch the video above.
And for more information on UFC on ESPN + 6, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.