Although some may still not consider him the true UFC light heavyweight champion due to former champion Jon Jones being stripped of the title rather than losing it, current 205-pound boss Daniel “DC” Cormier is still undoubtedly one of the best in the world, and he has a laundry list of accomplishments, and accolades to prove it.
A decorated former NCAA wrestler, a two-time Olympian, a Strikeforce Grand Prix Heavyweight champion, and a UFC light heavyweight champion. There’s no denying what “DC” has accomplished in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), and he continues to add to that list as he continues his reign as light heavyweight champion.
Recently, Cormier defended his title for the very first time against Swedish star Alexander Gustafsson in what turned out to be a five-round back, and forth war that showcased the true heart, and championship worth of “DC”.
Speaking on The Anik and Florian Podcast, Cormier said that it’s after fights like that one that people start to look at a fighter’s legacy, and what he’s done speaks for itself:
“After a fight like that (Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192) you start looking at their overall accomplishments. When you look at what I’ve done, I think I got almost close to 10 Top 10 wins. I’ve had Barnett, Bigfoot, Johnson, Gustafsson — they were all ranked in the Top 5 at the time that I fought them. I’ve only been doing it for six years. That’s when you start thinking about it. But, I do think about legacy.”
Some fighters may use their accomplishments when it comes to contract talks, but the former Olympian admits that all he focuses on is fighting, and until he can’t be competitive anymore, that’s all he’ll focus on, noting that his legacy weighs more than the money:
“As I get older, I talk to my managers and everybody else and we talk about new contracts and what we’re going to tell UFC when it’s time, I tell them, ‘I am going to fight.’ But, let’s say the wheels start to fall off and I lose or I lose twice. I’ll probably be done. My resume, my career and my legacy in this sport means more to me then just collecting some checks. I’m going to do it until I’m not competitive and when I’m not competitive and not winning at the level that I’m winning now, I’ll walk away. Because yes, legacy does matter to me and I want to leave a good one in MMA.”
While Cormier’s resume is an extremely impressive one, he doesn’t know if he can be talked about amongst greats like Chuck Liddell, Fedor Emelianenko, and Minotauro Nogueira just yet:
“Because when you think legends, you think of the guys like Fedor and Nogueira and Liddell. So it’s hard to start thinking of new guys as legends, though.”
Where does “DC” rank amongst the all-time greats in your mind?