On August 15th, two of the greatest fighters that have ever stepped foot inside the UFC‘s octagon will settle their rivalry once and for all. The two champions have fought twice, and both men have secured a knockout. Daniel Cormier (22-2, 1 NC) moved up from light heavyweight and stopped Stipe Miocic (19-3) in the first round at UFC 226 to become a double champion. After waiting over a year for a rematch, Miocic got his revenge stopping Cormier in the fourth round at UFC 241 last August. Now the two men will face each other one final time. With the trilogy booked, one has to wonder, who has more on the line in this fight?
The case for Miocic
Stipe Miocic is considered by many to be the best heavyweight champion the UFC has ever seen. He holds the record for the most successful title defenses of the heavyweight title. Prior to his reign, nobody had ever defended the title successfully three times, but Miocic accomplished that with his dominant victory over top contender, Francis Ngannou. In a weird way, Miocic has been drastically underappreciated. Miocic rose through the ranks, won the heavyweight title by knockout, then had three incredible title defenses in a row before losing to Cormier. Miocic has beaten some of the greatest to ever do it, but he still doesn’t get the respect he deserves. You could make the argument that this fight is more important for him to finally get the respect he deserves. Many consider Cormier to be one of the greatest to ever do it, but two clean victories over “DC” would cement Stipe forever as the greatest heavyweight of all time.
The case for Cormier
If it wasn’t for a man named Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier might be considered the greatest of all time. Cormier has beaten the best in the sport in two different weight classes, but Jones was the one man he couldn’t beat. Cormier became the light heavyweight champion only after Jones was stripped of the title. Cormier beat all the contenders, but couldn’t get the job done against Jones either time they fought. Cormier’s light heavyweight title always had an asterisk by some pundits due to the fact that he never beat Jones.
Cormier moved up in weight to heavyweight where he had never lost in his professional career. The only reason Cormier moved down to light heavyweight to begin with was because of his close friend and teammate, Cain Velasquez. Velasquez once ruled the heavyweight division, and the teammates vowed to never fight. When Cain was out of the picture, Cormier moved up to challenge Miocic. “DC” caught Stipe with the perfect punch coming out of a clinch to secure the UFC heavyweight title. Cormier defended the title once against Derrick Lewis before losing it back to Stipe. This fight is huge for Cormier, due to the luck factor. Nobody can take away the fact that Cormier won the heavyweight title clean, but if he loses to Stipe a second time, many pundits will argue that he won the title with a lucky punch. In my opinion, you can’t contest DC’s greatness, but you know that some critics will always say that he couldn’t beat Jon Jones, and he got lucky against Miocic in their first fight if he were to lose.
Greatest UFC Heavyweight of All Time
To me, whoever wins this fight will go down as the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. Even in a loss, Miocic will have more of a resume as champion, but two wins over Stipe for Cormier would take the cake. I think the fight means more for Daniel Cormier than it does for Stipe Miocic. Miocic will always have the distinction of the first champion to defend the title three times. There are no question marks or asterisks by any of his title wins. Cormier on the other hand, has an asterisk by his light heavyweight run, and many might say he just got lucky in the first Miocic fight. If Cormier is able to defeat Miocic again, nobody can takeaway or say anything about the legendary career that he has had. I cannot wait for this trilogy fight, and I encourage fight fans to soak it all in because it might be the last time we either one of these all time greats