Daniel Cormier’s decision to move down to light heavyweight was done because his AKA training partner – and close friend – Cain Velasquez is the current UFC heavyweight champion.

The two have talked quite often about not meeting each other inside the Octagon, saying each day in San Jose you can see them going at it.

However, for Cormier’s training ahead of his UFC 170 fight with Patrick Cummins, “DC” was forced to push through without Velasquez.

Velasquez underwent shoulder surgery recently after he defeated Junior dos Santos last year to successfully defend his title. He could return later this year, likely facing the winner of Fabricio Werdum-Travis Browne.

“It was tougher (without Velasquez),” admitted Cormier, during the pre-fight press conference. “You can’t replace him; he’s the best in the world. He works harder than anybody my size.

“I used Luke Rockhold and other partners, mixing them up. Everyday I sparred three different guys.”

Cormier did say that Velasquez “was around to do my cardio with me and speed and agility work.

“He was there to hang out.”

As was the norm for the press conference, Cormier made sure to get a shot in on his opponent. The two have had several verbal exchanges since Cummins was announced as the replacement for Rashad Evans.

“Every training partner that I had could beat Patrick Cummins,” he stated.