Daniel Cormier is a legend of mixed martial arts. He is a former two-division UFC champion, a UFC Hall of Famer, and one of the most dominant fighters of all time. He has defeated some of the best fighters in the world, such as Stipe Miocic, Anthony Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson, and Anderson Silva. He has also shown incredible resilience and courage, overcoming personal tragedies and career setbacks.
But there is one name that haunts Cormier’s legacy: Jon Jones. Jones is widely regarded as the greatest fighter of all time, and he has twice defeated Cormier in their heated rivalry. The first fight was a unanimous decision at UFC 182, and the second was a knockout at UFC 214. However, the second fight was later overturned to a no contest after Jones tested positive for a banned substance.
Many fans and analysts believe that Jones is the only fighter who can beat Cormier, and that without him, Cormier would be the undisputed best fighter in UFC history. In this blog post, I will argue why this is true, and why Cormier deserves more respect and recognition for his achievements.
Cormier has an impressive resume that few fighters can match. He has a professional record of 22 wins and 3 losses (one no contest), with 10 wins by knockout and 5 by submission1. He has won titles in two weight classes: light heavyweight and heavyweight. He is the second fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously, after Conor McGregor2. He is also the first fighter to have title defenses in two divisions2.
Cormier started his MMA career as a heavyweight, after a successful wrestling career that saw him win a bronze medal at the 2007 World Championships and compete at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics3. He made his UFC debut in 2013, after winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix by defeating Josh Barnett4. He then moved down to light heavyweight, due to his teammate Cain Velasquez being the UFC heavyweight champion at the time5.
At light heavyweight, Cormier won the vacant title by submitting Anthony Johnson at UFC 1876. He defended his title four times, against Alexander Gustafsson, Anderson Silva, Anthony Johnson (again), and Volkan Oezdemir1. He also had two fights with Jon Jones, which were both originally losses for Cormier, but the second one was changed to a no contest after Jones failed a drug test7.
In 2018, Cormier moved back up to heavyweight and challenged Stipe Miocic for the title at UFC 226. He knocked out Miocic in the first round, becoming the second simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history. He defended his heavyweight title once, against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230. He then lost his title back to Miocic in a rematch at UFC 241, and retired after losing a trilogy fight to Miocic at UFC 252.
Cormier was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’s Modern Wing as a member of the Class of 2022. He is currently a commentator and analyst for the UFC.
Cormier is a well-rounded fighter who can excel in all aspects of MMA. He is primarily a wrestler, with an Olympic-level pedigree and a powerful takedown game. He has landed 17 takedowns in his UFC career, with an accuracy of 45%1. He is also very effective on the ground, with strong top control and ground-and-pound. He has finished five fights by submission, including rear-naked chokes and guillotines1.
Cormier is also a dangerous striker, with fast hands and knockout power. He has landed 1216 significant strikes in his UFC career, with an accuracy of 53%1. He has knocked out 10 opponents, including some of the best heavyweights in history, such as Stipe Miocic, Josh Barnett, and Antonio Silva1. He also has a solid chin and durability, having been knocked out only once in his career (by Jon Jones).
Cormier is also a smart fighter, with a high fight IQ and adaptability. He can switch between different styles and strategies depending on his opponent. For example, he used his wrestling to dominate Anthony Johnson twice, who was known for his striking power6 . He used his striking to knock out Stipe Miocic twice, who was known for his wrestling prowess . He also showed great heart and determination in his fights, especially against Alexander Gustafsson, who pushed him to the limit in a close fight that Cormier won by split decision.
Cormier is undoubtedly one of the best fighters in UFC history, and arguably the best fighter without Jon Jones. He has achieved more than most fighters can dream of, and he has done it with class and dignity. He has faced some of the toughest challenges in the sport, and he has overcome most of them. He has also been a positive role model and ambassador for the sport, inspiring many young fighters and fans.
However, Cormier’s legacy is often overshadowed by his rivalry with Jon Jones, who is widely regarded as the greatest fighter of all time. Jones is the only fighter who has beaten Cormier convincingly, and he has done it twice (although the second one was overturned to a no contest). Many fans and analysts believe that Jones is Cormier’s kryptonite, and that Cormier can never be considered the best fighter in UFC history as long as Jones is around.
But this is unfair to Cormier, who has proven himself against everyone else in the UFC. He has beaten some of the best fighters in two weight classes, and he has dominated most of them. He has also shown more consistency and professionalism than Jones, who has been plagued by controversies and suspensions outside the octagon. Cormier has never failed a drug test, never been stripped of a title, and never been arrested or fined for his actions.
Cormier deserves more respect and recognition for his achievements, and he should not be defined by his losses to Jones. He should be celebrated for his wins, his skills, his character, and his legacy. He should be considered the best fighter in UFC history without Jon Jones, and one of the best fighters of all time with or without him.