Championship Spirit

Daniel Cormier is one of the greatest mixed martial artists in MMA history. However, due to his willingness to fight in multiple weight classes its as if he’s in a class of his own. There was a lot of talk going into UFC 252 that whoever won the fight between Stipe and Daniel would be the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. While this surely was the case for Stipe, Daniel Cormier certainly isn’t even close to the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. Even if you expand DC’s career beyond the UFC, it’s still difficult to justify him as one of the sports all-time greats at heavyweight. Allow me to explain.

Daniel Cormier’s willingness to fight anybody is what made him great. However, without his fights in Strikeforce, nobody would be considering him on of the greatest heavyweights of all time. And if you’re going to take his fights outside the UFC into account, other great heavyweights deserve to be in the argument as well. Fedor is a greater heavyweight than DC. I’d consider Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira a greater heavyweight than DC. Now I’m not necessarily saying these guys had better overall career’s that Daniel. Fedor and Big Nog fought their entire careers in the heavyweight division.

The narrative with DC should be different. He is surely one of the greatest pound for pound fighters we’ve ever seen, there’s no doubt about that. After winning the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, DC began his UFC career in the heavyweight division with victories over former champion Frank Mir, and Roy Big Country Nelson. But at that time DC’s good friend and training partner Cain Velasquez was the UFC’s heavyweight Champ. So DC decided to drop down to the light-heavyweight division to avoid fighting his friend. He also wanted to pursue a fight against the man many consider to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world, Jon Jones. DC didn’t have luck fighting against Jones, but was willing to pursue greatness like a true champion should. 

DC could’ve retired immediately after winning the heavyweight strap from Stipe. He also could’ve retired after successfully defending his title against Derrick Lewis. Yet he didn’t. He did the right thing by giving Stipe an opportunity to get his belt back. He could’ve walked away while he simultaneously held titles in two different weight classes. He could’ve walked away after vanquishing the Jon Jones cloud that hung over his head during his light-heavyweight run. But Daniel Cormier was interested in pursuing greatness and needed to prove he was the best in the world. Even though he fell short in his final contest he displayed the heart of a champion as he and Stipe battled for Five hard rounds. While he fell short in that final fight, I’ll always remember the championship spirit he fought with and the legendary memories he’s given the fans. Thank you DC! You had a great run and are surely one of the best pound for pound fighters the sport has ever seen.

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