Daniel Cormier can take one more step closer to competing for the UFC light heavyweight title if he can get past Dan Henderson Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 173.

For Cormier, Henderson is the right opponent to get the best out of him inside the Octagon.

“I have a mad amount of respect for (Henderson) and I believe he’s going to push me and make me fight harder than most opponents have ever made me fight,” said Cormier, during an interview with MMAjunkie.com.

Cormier (14-0) is a fellow former U.S. Olympic wrestler just like Henderson. He is coming off a finish of Patrick Cummins in his 205-pound debut this past February.

With a win, “DC” will likely become the next contender to the title after Jon Jones faces Alexander Gustafsson later this year. For now, though, he’s focused solely on Henderson (30-11).

“Dan is the first guy I can go into the cage with and say this guy’s done everything that I’ve done,” Cormier said, “and he’s actually done things at a much higher level than I have.

“He’s definitely a tough guy. He was an Olympian in freestyle and that’s a tough thing to do. Carrying that over to an unbeaten MMA record, that’s pretty great.”

Cormier owns victories over Roy Nelson and Frank Mir since joining the ranks of the UFC in 2013 after claiming the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix title by downing Josh Barnett.

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