The proverbial shockwave Daniel Cormier sent through the MMA world by knocking out heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in the main event of tonight’s (Sat., July 7, 2018) UFC 226 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, is still resonating.
Becoming quite possibly the best champion in the history of the UFC and only the second-ever simultaneous two-division champion, Cormier cemented his legacy and went a long way toward coming out of the shadow of his prior two losses to decorated but troubled former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (one that was changed to a no contest).
UFC President Dana White understandably had high praise for his new double champ at the post-fight presser, calling Cormier one of the best to ever do it and a great ambassador for the sport of mixed martial arts:
“One of the best of all-time. This was the right fight for him, in that, If you think about his career, he steps down from heavyweight to go to light heavyweight because his friend is a heavyweight. So he goes to 205, has an incredible career, but has that Jon Jones thing.
“And Jon Jones is, in my opinion, you know if not the, one of the best of all-time. Could be the. The potential that Jon Jones had, who knows what he could have done at heavyweight and everything else, so he’s got the shadow of Jon Jones. Moves back up to heavyweight and knocks out the best heavyweight ever in UFC history in the first round, decisively.
“I think that what this does is finally gives him the respect he deserves. And he’s a two-division champion and now he’s got a big fight ahead of him, big fight, big payday, and it couldn’t happen to a better guy, he’s an incredible ambassador for the sport.”
Immediately after he cleaned Miocic’s clock to win the belt, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar stepped into the cage and shoved Cormier after “DC” called him out, setting the stage for a monstrous superfight down the road.
As if it needed to be stated, White confirmed the UFC would book that fight, explaining how jazzed Lesnar supposedly was during UFC 226:
“Yeah, we’re definitely gonna make that fight. So, Lesnar hit me up a couple days ago and says, ‘Sorry I went dark on ya, I had some stuff I had to take care of and I’m gonna come to the fight this weekend.’
Okay, see you Saturday. He came here tonight and he was all fired up if you couldn’t tell, I mean, right when he got to my seat on the side he was acting like a lunatic. He was fired up and excited for this fight. His gut told him Stipe because he thought Cormier put too much weight on for this fight. He thought it was going to affect him. And, it didn’t”
So “DC” will move on quite possibly the biggest fight of his career – and he’s had some big ones – yet the specter of a trilogy match with Jones will probably still hang over the ultra-competitive Cormier’s head until he retires, which he’s teased doing soon.
Don’t be surprised to see that fight happen at heavyweight after “DC” faces Lesnar and if and when Jones is able to return from his potential USADA suspension.
All of the sudden, Cormier has the MMA world in his palm. But is Jones still the all-time king despite his outside-the-cage trouble?