Daniel Cormier is not attributing Stipe Miocic’s victory to luck but is heaping praise on the heavyweight champion for rising to the occasion when it appeared he was down and out during the UFC 241 main event.
Daniel Cormier knows what it’s like to stand over Stipe Miocic as a victorious man. He experienced that feeling at UFC 226 when he brought Miocic’s record-setting championship run to an end. But at UFC 241, it would be him who was down and defeated, as Miocic regained the biggest prize of the heavyweight division. Prior to Miocic’s TKO finish, Cormier was firmly ahead of the bout going into the championship rounds, but then something happened… (Transcript via BJPenn.com):
“From my [point of view], honestly being in there, and credit to Miocic and his corners. You know, you watch the fight and you go to the corners and he’s confused. They are telling him to do things and he is saying I’m trying. Like he is confused as everybody else,” Daniel Cormier said on UFC’s best of 2019 show on Fight Pass. “But, he hit me with a number of right hands all fight. Whatever just a right hand that’s nothing. But, once they go to the body and go to the body and go to body, it allowed for him, even early in the fourth round, he’s hitting me in the body I’m still clubbing him in the head. He’s hitting me in the body and hitting me with one big body shot then I’m hitting him two, three times in the face and I’m like ah not a big deal.
“But, then one hits right, and it hits me right on the ribs,” Cormier continued. “This one makes you go ahhh, then those right hands that have been landing all day that where hitting me right on the chin with no big deal, and then my hands are here [shows his hands protecting his body] and I always say, if you take two shots to the same side of your face, that is the one that gets you,” he continued. “Stipe went body, boom, and then it went bop bop, and I was like wow. Then he charged.”
Stipe Miocic has strongly identified as the greatest heavyweight of all time, but losing back-to-back fights to the same fighter, one who also had a legitimate argument for that moniker, would have been absolutely devastating, especially after Miocic had sat out awaiting a rematch against Cormier. All things considered, even Cormier has to tip his hat and acknowledge that it was quite the clutch performance when the chips were against Miocic.
“It was such a great adjustment and look at the stakes,” Cormier said. “This kid had everything to lose. He got knocked out in the first fight and he watched me and Brock Lesnar…we treated him like an afterthought. He waited a year, stood firm in his belief that he deserved a rematch. If he would have lost again, he’s done..all the pressure that was going on to what he had to do to win that fight. I think in terms of cage in-fight, I landed 70 percent of my strikes, but credit where credit is due, I thought he did a fantastic job,” Daniel Cormier concluded.
Where do you think Stipe Miocic’s victory over Daniel Cormier ranks in terms of all-time clutch performances?