UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier believes Stipe Miocic is more deserving of being dubbed the greatest heavyweight of all time than recently retired Fedor Emelianenko.

After more than two decades of dominance, ‘The Last Emperor’ left his gloves in the cage on Saturday night following a first-round knockout loss against reigning Bellator MMA heavyweight champion Ryan Bader. Emelianenko closed out his career with an impressive 40-7 record which includes an iconic 31-1 run that lasted nearly a decade. With Emelianenko’s retirement still fresh in our minds, fans and fighters alike continue to debate who exactly is the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time, but for Daniel Cormier, the answer is clear.

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“I don’t believe (Fedor’s) the greatest heavyweight of all time,” Cormier said on his ESPN show ‘DC & RC.’ “I think that belongs to Stipe Miocic, but only because Cain Velasquez was injured so much. I think in terms of skill, there’s no one that ever matched Cain Velasquez at heavyweight.

“But I believe that Stipe Miocic’s title defenses and the long reign that he had at the top of the division puts him atop. But Fedor is in the top five, and I don’t think that’s anything to be ashamed of” (h/t Yahoo! Sports)

Perhaps the biggest argument against Fedor Emelianenko’s GOAT status is the fact that he never stepped foot inside the Octagon. It’s a reality that UFC president Dana White openly regrets, but ‘The Last Emperor’ scored victories against a slew of former and eventual UFC champions including Andrei Arlovski, Mark Coleman, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Kevin Randleman, Tim Sylvia, Frank Mir, and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.

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Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier Engaged in One of the UFC’s Greatest Trilogies

Engaging in one of the greatest trilogies in UFC history, Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic squared off inside the Octagon on three separate occasions between 2018 and 2020. ‘DC’ scored a first-round knockout in their initial meeting at UFC 226. A year later, Miocic would get his revenge by handing Daniel Cormier his second loss inside the Octagon via a fourth-round KO at UFC 241. The following summer, UFC 252 hosted the highly anticipated rubber match between the two. Miocic once again came out on top, this time by way of a unanimous decision.

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As a former two-time UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic holds multiple notable heavyweight records including the most consecutive heavyweight title defenses (3), the most title defenses overall (4), and is currently tied for the most wins in UFC heavyweight title fights (6). The Ohio native also holds the distinction of earning the most post-fight bonuses in UFC heavyweight history.

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