Daniel Cormier made history at UFC 226, by becoming the first-ever simultaneous light heavyweight and heavyweight champion in the promotion’s history and joining the rankings of Conor McGregor, B.J. Penn, Randy Couture, and Georges St-Pierre, all of whom won titles in two separate divisions.
The former Olympian knocked out heavyweight king Stipe Miocic in the first round and won the praise of UFC president Dana White at the post-fight press conference.
White says Cormier has been immortalized after his stunning win at UFC 226 and will always be remembered as “one of the best of all-time”.
“I think that what this does is finally gives him the respect that he deserves,” White said, per MMA Fighting’s Alexander K. Lee. “He’s a two-division champion and now he’s got a big fight ahead of him, a big payday, and it couldn’t happen to a better guy. He’s an incredible ambassador for the sport.
“I said a long time ago, I told Daniel, ‘If you’re my champion for the rest of my career, I’ll be a very happy man.’ He’s a great analyst, he does a great job on television. I just can’t say enough good things about the guy and I’m really happy for him.”
Daniel Cormier has only ever lost to Jon Jones, who was considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world before testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs on two separate occasions. Jones’ knockout win over Cormier at UFC 214 was overturned to a No Contest (NC) after ‘Bones’ tested positive for steroids and ‘DC’ was immediately reinstated as the official light heavyweight champ.
With another world title to his name, White wants to see Cormier finally given the recognition he deserves and hasn’t even considered the possibility of retirement.
“He’s gonna start getting the respect he deserves and has deserved for a while now, but when I look at Daniel Cormier’s performance tonight at heavyweight, retirement doesn’t even come close to popping into my mind,” White said.
Cormier will now defend his title against former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar and, according to White, both fighters have been wanting to fight each other for years.
“They’ve known each other a long time and the whole wrestling thing, and they talk a lot of shit to each other about wrestling and who would have won in wrestling and who would have done this and that,” White said. “You can ask Cormier about it, but there is a thing with those two. Who would win? Now they’re gonna find out.”
Cormier and Lesnar engaged in a WWE-style face-off at UFC 226 and both men are expected to collide for the heavyweight title early next year, although no date has been announced.