Building a legacy is something that Daniel Cormier has always had on his mind. From the moment he felt the light heavyweight belt tighten around his waist, he knew his campaign for greatness could never be stifled.
Against Stipe Miocic at UFC 226, Cormier catapulted himself onto the list of all-time greats by defeating the most decorated UFC heavyweight champion ever. He followed that victory up with a dominant showing over the powerful Derrick Lewis at UFC 230.
On August 17 at UFC 241, Cormier will look to defend his belt against Miocic, who opted to wait over a year for a rematch with him. Whether it was tweets, pictures or interviews, Miocic’s adamant rematch campaign followed him everywhere he went. Cormier wasn’t exactly appreciative of Miocic’s promoting tactics since their fight last July.
“It upset me a little bit,” Cormier said. “Because he would put up these random pictures of him punching me and I’m like, ‘But I got the final shot. I got the final six shots.’ Yeah, so it was a little bit irritating because I feel like he could have fought again and if he fought again he would have put himself in the same exact position.”
A win over Miocic at UFC 241 in Anaheim would add a cherry on the top of Cormier’s G.O.A.T. bid. The 40-year-old has amassed a 22-1, 1 NC record on his way to the top of the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings, defeating the likes of Frank Mir, Dan Henderson, Anthony Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson and Anderson Silva.
Cormier is definitely heading into the sequel with Miocic with confidence and he believes that there are some things he can take away from their first showdown to help him secure a second win over the former champ.
“You take everything that you had success on and you build on it,” Cormier said. “But you still have to add these little wrinkles. You can’t try to do the same thing. You cannot recreate magic. The first fight was magic; I can’t try to do the same thing, that’s impossible.”
That magic that Cormier is referring to took place with less than 30 seconds remaining in the opening round of their first fight, when Cormier landed a heavy hook that dropped Miocic to the canvas. From there, Cormier landed some powerful shots to end the fight in the blink of an eye.
Since then, Cormier submitted Lewis in Madison Square Garden and 2019 has been good to him so far as well. He took home the inaugural ESPY for Best MMA Fighter, his career in television is booming and he’s been able to focus on getting his health back to 100 percent.
It truly has been the perfect storm for DC and that’s why he’s so excited to get back into the Octagon against Miocic.
“I knew for sure that he was going to be a guy that would always hang around the top,” Cormier said. “He defended that belt more than anyone in history and it shows because now I find myself fighting him again. I’m pumped up.”
Make sure you tune into UFC 241 live on PPV, August 17 to see if DC can defeat Miocic once again and retain his heavyweight title.
Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com, follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCNews