Daniel Cormier may have failed to recapture the UFC heavyweight title this past weekend against Stipe Miocic at UFC 252, but he is still considered to be one of the best to ever do it, in the eyes of many. Including Dana White, who is hoping the 41-year-old changed his mind about retiring from the sport.
“God Damn, This Guy Is Really, Really Good”
The UFC president had many great things to say about Cormier at the UFC 252 post-fight media conference (transcript by MMA Fighting), following his loss to Miocic.
“The funny thing about Cormier is that he’s one of those guys that doesn’t look like he could be the light heavyweight and heavyweight champion,” Dana said. “But man, that guy is tough, gritty, he’s got a really good fight IQ. He’s tough, he’s a tough guy. He stood in there…look how much bigger Stipe was than him tonight, and he stood in there toe-to-toe and banged it out with Stipe. This time, the second time, and the first time they fought.
“When I really realised how good Cormier was and that he was real was when he was in Strikeforce. It’s hilarious because I don’t watch any of the competitors’ stuff, I usually never watch the stuff unless it’s a fight that I’m interested in. But I ended up watching that.
“I remember where I was and what I did the night that I watched that fight. It was the Josh Barnett fight. The way that he beat Josh Barnett [in the heavyweight grand prix final] and the way that he beat Josh Barnett and what he did to Josh Barnett is when I said, ‘God damn, this guy is really, really good.’ That was when I first noticed Daniel Cormier and thought that he was real.”
With the ‘the greatest heavyweight in UFC history’ on the line, as well as the title, there was a huge amount of hype going into the fight. And Dana believed it more than delivered.
“It was an awesome fight. I had it 2-2 going into the last round, and it was the fight I think everybody thought it was gonna be,” he said. “It was exciting. How tough are both of those guys? Both guys got poked in the eye. Both guys got rocked. They fought their hearts out. It was an incredible heavyweight championship. People were texting me saying that they were in bars and the bars were packed and going crazy.
“My son, who’s going to [University of San Diego], has a place down there on the beach and he said people were lined up on the boardwalk looking in his window watching the fight. It was one of those heavyweight championship fights that felt big and everyone was watching, it was fun.”
Cormier confirmed his retirement after the loss. And while Dana said he will respect what ever the former two division champion decides, he said he would love to see DC fight again.
“The best. The guy’s been the best to work with,” he said. “He’s easy, he wanted to fight everybody, he’s willing to do anything. He’s a great guy, he’s a great ambassador to the sport and it’s been fun.
“I think my saying he won’t retire is me kind of hoping he doesn’t retire. Whatever he wants to do, I’m happy for him. If he wants to fight, I’m happy for him. If he wants to retire, I’m really happy for him too.”
Where do you put Daniel Cormier among the all time greats in the UFC?