Can Daniel Cormier recapture UFC gold?
Cormier wants to retire as a world champion, but in order to pull off that impressive feat, he’ll have to defeat Stipe Miocic in Cormier’s presumed final UFC fight sometime later this year for Miocic’s heavyweight title.
Cormier shockingly defeated Miocic via first-round knockout at UFC 226 in July 2018, but Miocic returned the favor 13 months later via fourth-round stoppage at UFC 241.
With the two knotted 1-1, Cormier, 41, a former Olympian and the second-ever UFC “champ champ”, told USA Wrestling’s Kerry McCoy (who is also an amateur wrestling legend) that he’d make a big change to his training regimen in order to win the rubber match.
In short, Cormier is demanding of himself that he gets back to his wrestling roots.
“I’ve got to get back to wrestling,” Cormier said. “I’ve got to get back to guys like you, Kerry, who are actually going to be able to tell me ‘that ain’t enough.’ I have Bob [Cook], and my coaches do, but I need to have that.”
You can watch the full interview below.
What Cormier Desires for Final Training Camp
Cormier said he would have to have the same mentality he used to compete as an elite amateur wrestler to get back to the top of the UFC’s heavyweight division. Widely considered one of the greatest MMA fighters ever, Cormier’s epic journey toward becoming light heavyweight and heavyweight champ for the biggest and best MMA promotional company in the world started when he was an All-American wrestling prodigy and team captain for the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic teams.
Essentially, what Cormier desires is to get back to training like he did before the “money” and “fame” came along, and the fighter seems to associate that kind of mindset with his wrestling roots.
In short, Cormier wants people in his corner for his last fight that will tell him the truth when they don’t think he’s putting in the right kind of effort.
“But you’ve got to have those guys that knew you before all the fame, all the money and all the attention to really put you in your place,” Cormier said. “I think you know me in a way that if I’m wrestling and I ain’t doing enough, you’re going to tell me I’m not doing enough. I’m putting together a great camp for this last fight, and I can’t wait to get ready.”
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‘The Right Way to Go out’
“I’m going to fight Stipe Miocic one last time and then I’m going to be done with this whole thing,” Cormier said. “I love this sport. I’m a competitive guy. Getting away from competition is going to be tough but I know that to win the heavyweight championship again is the right way to go out.”
Indeed, both Cormier and Miocic are top-flight competitors. Cormier believes his final fight will allow him to retire as the UFC’s heavyweight champion, one who moved up in weight to face the fighter some insiders consider to be the greatest UFC heavyweight ever.
“Stipe and I have a fantastic trilogy,” Cormier said. “He’s a wrestler himself. Very respectful guy. Firefighter. Tough guy. But I need to be the champion as I’m done with this thing.”
Why Miocic vs. Cormier Trilogy Needs to Happen
While Cormier’s final fight hasn’t yet been announced, it does seem as if the popular athlete will get his way when it comes to landing the third fight against Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title.
It’s why top-ranked heavyweight contenders like Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik have a decent argument when it comes to whether their upcoming May 9 showdown should be for an interim title belt.
That doesn’t appear to be likely, but even without that being the case, the UFC heavyweight championship picture is in desperate need of Miocic vs. Cormier 3 taking place soon, if only so the company can move on with the rest of the division.