Fans Need To Appreciate The Greatness That Is DC
With his victory over Derrick Lewis Saturday night at UFC 230, Daniel Cormier became the first fighter in UFC history to defend two belts in two different weight classes. What’s most impressive is that he was able to defend both the belts while holding the belts simultaneously. Cormier has defended both belts in an eleven month span.
Cormier took a huge risk by fighting the heavy-hitting Lewis, knowing that if he were to lose, he would not only lose the heavyweight title, but he would also miss out on the Brock Lesnar fight, which is set to happen early 2019. The fight against Lesnar would be a huge payday for Cormier, with Lesnar being one of the more popular fights in the history of the UFC.
When people discuss the greatest of all time in MMA, a few names get thrown around like Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva or Fedor Emelianenko. But what about Cormier?
His record speaks for itself, at 22-1-1, but it’s not the number of wins that’s so impressive, it’s who he’s beaten.
Look at the number of UFC champions he’s beaten. Josh Barnett, Frank Mir, Anderson Silva and Stipe Miocic. Then there are other big names he’s beaten like Roy Nelson, Antonio Silva, Dan Henderson, Anthony Johnson (twice), Alexander Gustafsson and Lewis.
Even though he has a wrestling background and can grind out victories by wrestling and wearing out his opponents, Cormier does have many ways to finish fights. Cormier has a 68% finish rate in his professional career.
We’ve seen him land one shot and knockout out his opponents like he did to Miocic. We’ve seen him get the fight to the ground and land vicious ground-and-pound like he did to Volkan Oezdemir. And we’ve seen him use his wrestling to tire out his opponents until they look for a way out, like he did Johnson twice, who gave up his back and Cormier locked up rear-naked chokes.
So why doesn’t Cormier get the respect he deserves from fans? One reason: Jon Jones.
Cormier and Jones fought twice, with Jones winning via decision the first time at UFC 182 and Jones winning via knockout at UFC 214. The problem with both victories is Jones failing drug tests.
One month before their first fight, Jones failed a drug test for cocaine but was not suspended since the substance isn’t banned out-of-competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Jones then failed a drug test for a banned substance after their second fight, which led to the UFC stripping Jones of the title and the win over Cormier being changed to a no-contest. This was the second time in Jones’ career he failed for a banned substance. Jones plead his innocence both times, but still received suspensions. Cormier, on the other hand, has never failed a drug test.
Even though there is some controversy with both of Jones’ victories over Cormier, the images of Jones beating Cormier still remain fresh in our minds. We cannot erase it. Cormier has been a model champion inside and outside the octagon. He has made history time and time again yet isn’t shown the love by fans that he deserves.
Even if Cormier goes onto beat Lesnar, unfortunately for him, he won’t get the recognition he has earned, unless he goes onto fight (and defeat) Jones. Is it fair? Absolutely not. But if he’s able to overcome the one obstacle that has cast a shadow over his historic career, then he will have earned the respect from fans and media and be crowned the GOAT in MMA. There’s only one way to find out.