Although he went into his main event versus Stipe Miocic at last night’s UFC 226 from Las Vegas as the UFC light heavyweight champion, there was always that shadow of former champion Jon Jones hanging over Daniel Cormier’s head.
That specter was lifted, however, when Cormier shocked the entire MMA universe by planting the much bigger Miocic with a picture-perfect short right hand that may have been so powerful the ground damage that followed was completely unneeded. With one punch, Cormier became the second-ever UFC champion to hold two titles in different weight classes at the same time, and he also put his name up there with the greatest fighters to ever compete in the sport.
In a circus-like scene that has drawn mixed reactions from fans and media members, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar was called into the octagon by “DC” and proceeded to shove the new double champ to get the hype rolling for their perceived future fight. While UFC President Dana White confirmed that fight would be happening next, the opportunity to finally settle the score with “Bones,” a troubled all-time great who beat Cormier twice in the cage before drug issues shrouded both victories (his first win was never overturned despite him testing positive for cocaine prior to the bout), is a fight too huge to pass up.
But with “Bones” still facing a potentially long USADA suspension, Cormier rightfully doesn’t know when – or if – Jones will return, so he when faced with the obvious question at the UFC 226 post-fight press conference (via MMA Mania), “DC” said he would face “Bones” if he could fight
In his mind, he now has the two biggest titles in the UFC, so even if Jones beat him, he holds the cards:
”I mean … I would if he’s around, but I don’t know if he’s gonna be around. But honestly at this point, does he even deserve it? I hold the cards now. You may have won the fights but I hold the cards.”
Cormier put it into more perspective, noting that he was the one who fought and knocked out the most successful heavyweight champion of all-time, another fighter who does things the right way like he does, unlike Jones’ constant legal and drug-related troubles. Bearing that, Cormier once again wasn’t sure he would face “Bones” again:
”I’m the one that competed. I’m the one that went up and did something that you were not going to do. I went and fought the baddest man on the planet, the most successful heavyweight champ of all time. A great guy. A great champion. A guy that does everything the right way. And I won. So … I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s going to happen.”
With two belts now in tow, Cormier offered the thought that the many haters who called him a fake champion when he won the 205-pound title thanks to two Jones incidents now had no right to claim that. In knocking out Miocic, Cormier is sure he became one of the greatest fighters in MMA history:
”This tonight, is for everyone that said ‘You’re a fake champion, you’re not a real champion. You can’t question this one. You might question that light heavyweight title. You can question it to the grave. But I have something completely separate from [Jones]. And I’m very grateful for it because everything was tied to that guy.”
”No matter how much I beat everybody up, it was like ‘Well, he lost to Jones.’ Now in this heavyweight division – a division I never got to complete my journey in – I went and I completed it and became the champ. I’m a champion and I’m one of the Greatest Of All Time. I love Demetrious Johnson and I love Georges St-Pierre, and it’s going to be one of the three of us.”
Finally, Cormier closed his thoughts on the matter by focusing on the fact he had done something only one other high-profile fighter had managed to achieve in the UFC:
”Only Conor McGregor did it at the same exact time. It’s a big deal and I’m very excited about it.”