Daniel Cormier has had a glittering career in MMA and holds a list of accomplishments. He claimed the Heavyweight strap at Strikeforce before the promotion merged with the UFC. Later, after 2 matches at Heavyweight, he dropped to Light Heavyweight and continued his impressive win streak.
This culminated in him claiming the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Following Jon Jones’ troubles, ‘DC’ held the division and conquered all comers, before falling to ‘Bones’ yet again. However, he reclaimed the belt after Jones tested positive for a banned substance.
In his maiden defense after the 2nd Jon Jones match, Cormier beat Volkan Oezdemir via TKO. At the same event, Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic overcame the challenge of Francis Ngannou. A week later, the UFC put out a tweet confirming a blockbuster matchup for early summer.
— UFC (@ufc) January 27, 2018
Here, Miocic would defend his belt against ‘DC’ who returned to the Heavyweight division for the first time since beating Roy Nelson at UFC 166.
The highly awaited matchup marked the 3rd time UFC fans would witness 2 reigning champions battle it out. Also, it was the second time, one fighter had a chance at becoming a dual champion. The first instance came at UFC 205, where Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor challenged and beat Eddie Alvarez to claim the lightweight belt.
This lets fans see that ‘DC’ was chasing history, and it was a huge fight in terms of his legacy as an MMA fighter. Having been the king of one division, he was hungry to get his hands on the one thing that eluded him, i.e. the UFC Heavyweight Championship. By doing so, he would etch his name in UFC history.
UFC 226: Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier
The bout took place at UFC 226 at the T-Mobile Arena at Las Vegas. The venue served as the host for Cormier’s UFC 200 victory over Middleweight great Anderson Silva.
Whilst Bruce Buffer went through the customary pre-fight introductions, Cormier paced alongside his side of the cage. Stipe Miocic bounced lightly on his toes and then moved forward for the referee’s instructions. Here, the duo shook hands and appeared cordial for a split second. However, as they walked back, fans could sense that this would be a battle. The decibels soared amongst the audience.
As the match began, the fighters surveyed each other and looked for an opening. Miocic closed the gap, but neither side engaged within the first 30 seconds. The Heavyweight Champion landed a right hand before backing off as Cormier attempted a clinch.
They traded leg kicks before Miocic pinned Cormier to the fence and they went down. This was ‘DC’s world in a wrestling match and he tried to nullify the height disadvantage with the under hooks. Unfortunately for him, Miocic kept landing punches and seemed to cause more damage.
The Heavyweight Champion landed a knee to the midsection. As the crowd chanted “Stipe,” ‘DC’ earned a reprimand for strikes to the back of the head. He shifted his attention to his opponent’s right side.
Miocic was back at it as he pinned the Light Heavyweight Champion to the wall on the other side. As they moved to the center Marc Goddard called for the challenger to keep his fingers in. ‘DC’s open fingers were noticeable as he readied himself to grab the champion.
Now, at the center, the fighters traded punches with Miocic landing combos and Cormier holding his own with occasional shots that echoed across the arena. The fight saw a temporary stoppage because of Cormier accidentally poking his opponent in the eye. A slow-motion replay saw the fighter open his fists and seemingly flick the champion.
Goddard let the fighters resume with ‘DC’ repeatedly being called out over his open fingers. He closed his fist and began catching Miocic with combinations. The champion closed in, got caught in a clinch, and ate an elbow which sent him crashing to the canvas.
Like the veteran fighter he is, Daniel Cormier quickly went down and pummelled Miocic till the referee called a stop to the contest at 4:33 in the first round.
‘DC’ creates UFC history
The 39-year-old fighter had created history by becoming the first fighter to hold the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight titles simultaneously. He joined UFC great Randy Couture as the only fighter to hold both titles at any point in their careers.
Also, he became the second man in UFC history to be a simultaneous two-division champion. Following the fight, ‘DC’ called out former UFC Heavyweight Champion and WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar who was present in the arena.
Lesnar entered the cage and shoved Cormier, thus leading to speculation of a blockbuster clash between them. However, that did not materialize.
‘DC’ made a defense of his Heavyweight belt while still holding the 205 lbs title. Later he relinquished the strap having cemented his legacy as a champion across multiple divisions.
Now, Daniel Cormier will look to reclaim the Heavyweight title he surrendered to Miocic in the rematch at UFC 241. The duo will fight at UFC 252 in what ‘DC’ claims will be his swansong. He will seek to use the experience of the first fight as well as the early part of the UFC 241 match to his advantage on August 15.
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