Daniel Cormier has earned an honor that no other mixed martial artist has in 2018, as the only athlete in the sport to make it to ESPN’s 20 most dominant athletes of 2018 list released this week. Cormier landed at #3 on the list, topped only by Eliud Kipchoge (#2) and Simone Biles, who was placed at #1.
Daniel Cormier began his year reinstated as light heavyweight champion following Jon Jones being stripped of the title due to a USADA violation. In Cormier’s only light heavyweight title defense of the year, he dominated Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220 before earning the inevitable finish in the second round via TKO.
But what is likely the biggest reason Cormier earned this honor is the fact that he became a double champion when he defeated Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight championship at UFC 226. Cormier entered the fight as the +150 underdog but picked up his second strap in spite of the oddsmakers when he knocked out Miocic in the very first round. To cap off the year, Cormier became the first UFC fighter in history to defend two titles in one year when he successfully defended the heavyweight championship against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden, once again earning a stoppage, this time by rear naked choke in the second round.
In being placed at #3, Daniel Cormier topped 17 other athletes on the list such as LeBron James, Novak Djokovic, Mookie Betts, and Ariya Jutanugarn.
Do you believe ESPN got it right? Should Daniel Cormier be considered the third most dominant athlete of 2018?