Do you know the old adage, ‘nice guys always finish last?’ Well, what happens when two nice guys go head to head for the top slot and title of the most feared man on the planet?
With just over a year since the first fight, the current and former heavyweight champions, Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic will once again lock horns. As you’ll recall, we all witnessed the light heavyweight champion, Cormier, stun the heavyweight division with a knockout of Miocic inside the first round of their encounter.
It was Cormier’s first bout at heavyweight after moving back up to a division in which he had previously dominated under the Strikeforce banner and for a time in the UFC. He would, of course, go on to be the 205lb light heavyweight Champion in the UFC. But before that, many of DC’s greatest moments had come as a heavyweight.
Light Heavyweight GOAT
In a division where we would witness one of the greatest rivalries in sports history, Cormier battled arch-nemesis, Jon Jones, as the two jostled for the title of GOAT (Greatest of All-Time).
But when the dust had temporarily settled on their rivalry, while Jones took an unplanned sabbatical. Cormier went ahead and snatched the 205lb title for safekeeping, but it wasn’t too long before DC once again felt the urge to push back up into the division where he had found so much prior success.
With teammate and friend Cain Velasquez still very much out of the picture, It was time to try his hand at challenging the reigning champion, fellow all-around good guy Stipe Miocic.
Cormier, who had almost flippantly announced he would challenge Miocic, surely wouldn’t be able to steal away the title from the promotion’s most successful heavyweight champion of all time?
Well at UFC 226, that is exactly what Cormier did. Making him just one of a handful of fighters to capture two world title belts at the same time with the promotion. It was Cormier’s crowning moment during an illustrious career that has seen him go from Olympian to dominating the world of mixed martial arts.
Beating Brock Lesnar
It was reported that a fight against Brock Lesnar was in the works, after which the champ would ride off into the sunset and sign off on one of the greatest careers the sport has seen.
However, with Lesnar soon after signalling he would not be returning to the UFC, it’s a fight that never materialized. Robbing Cormier lost his last big opportunity for a huge payout.
So now a year on and with one defence behind him, Cormier will look to prove a point and repeat what he did to Miocic in their first meeting. After this fight, perhaps he’ll then step away from fighting for good to help train and lead the next generation of combat sports athletes, as only a true leader and team captain can do.
When nice-guy Cormier steps in against fellow nice guy Miocic at UFC 241 on August 18th, It will be a win-win situation for any fans of the sport. Whilst two of the very best battle it out for their heavyweight legacies, who will win the toss-up in UFC betting for this mammoth matchup?
With lots of options and odds available, fans can source different bets on who they see taking this title home. How will it play out on the night and who will stake their claim to greatness is anyone’s guess, but we can all make a little bit of money along the way!
Someone always has to finish last.
And unfortunately for one of these phenomenal athletes and people, it has to be one of them.
Images courtesy of mymmanews.com, theguardian.com & mmanews.com