Daniel Cormier on Stipe Miocic Fight: ‘This is the Battle for the Baddest Man on the Planet’

Daniel Cormier speaks to the magnitude of his showdown with Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 where he will attempt to become only the second ever simultaneous two division champion in UFC history

Daniel Cormier knows exactly what’s on the line when he steps into the Octagon to face heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 226.

Of course Cormier has the opportunity to win the heavyweight title but this fight comes along with much more than just a championship belt.

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A win at UFC 226 would make Cormier only the second fighter in UFC history to hold two titles simultaneously — joining Conor McGregor who accomplished the feat back at UFC 205 in 2016 — but he would also be the first person to ever hold championships at heavyweight and light heavyweight.

In fact, no light heavyweight champion in UFC history has ever moved up to challenge the heavyweight champion, which is why Cormier knows how huge this moment could be for his career.

“This is the biggest fight of my life. This is the biggest fight I’ve ever been in,” Cormier said ahead of UFC 226. “I have played a major part in some of the biggest fights in the UFC. I was at UFC 182, I was a big part of UFC 200, I was supposed to headline it. I was a massive part of UFC 214 and now this one.

“I have been involved in some of the biggest moments of the sports’ young history and I’m excited about it and honored to be put in those positions. The UFC must trust me to put me in those positions over again and over again knowing that I’m going to show up and I’m going to do my thing.”

When it comes down to the sheer magnitude of this fight, Cormier can strip it down to one very simple accomplishment for the winner and it goes beyond titles or pound-for-pound rankings.

“This is the battle for the baddest man on the planet,” Cormier teased.

In the lead up to this fight, there has been no real animosity shared between Cormier and Miocic.

Of course, Cormier is no stranger to those kinds of situations, especially considering his long standing rivalry with former champion Jon Jones, but none of that exists when it comes to Miocic.

Cormier and Miocic were friendly before this fight even got booked and they even spoke on the phone before actually accepting the matchup when it was offered to them for UFC 226.

“It does feel good to respect my opponent,” Cormier said. “I have the utmost respect for Stipe Miocic. If I would have just watched him from afar, as I did prior to the show, this would have been a lot easier. After being around him and learning about his journey and also his commitment to his city and his commitment to doing things the right way, it became where this had to be something astronomical to make this happen and it was something astronomical.”

Apparently the UFC offered them both something astronomical as Cormier and Miocic signed on the dotted line and then began the long preparation that would lead to UFC 226 on July 7.

On paper, Cormier knows he’s the underdog going into this fight despite being undefeated as a heavyweight, which is where he started his career. In fact, Cormier may have become heavyweight champion previously if not for moving down to 205 pounds to avoid any potential conflict with teammate and close friend Cain Velasquez.

Of course, Cormier knows he’s going to be giving up some size and power to Miocic, who is a noted knockout artist with devastating power in both hands.

Still Cormier is very confident that he’s got a style that will give Miocic serious problems when they step into the Octagon together on July 7.

“I think that’s what people imagine. Stipe is going to knock Daniel out, he’s the small guy, the small guy’s got to do something special,” Cormier said. “All I got to be is Daniel Cormier and I will win this fight.

“I love Stipe, I think he’s great but I think this is a fantastic matchup. Styles make fights and I think that our styles together combined will make for a fantastic evening in Vegas.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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