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Daniel Cormier abandoned his game plan at UFC 241: My coaches ‘were begging me to wrestle’

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Former UFC champion Daniel Cormier believes he let his coaches down in title loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 on Saturday night in Anaheim.

Daniel Cormier intended on wrestling Stipe Miocic more than he did in their rematch in the UFC 241 main event on Saturday night.

Cormier, who lost the UFC heavyweight title to Miocic via fourth-round TKO, found success on the ground early in the fight. He took Miocic down in the first round and managed to keep him down until the end of the round. But in the later rounds, Cormier spent most of the time on the feet with Miocic, rarely attempting to get him back down. Miocic ultimately caught him late in the fourth round to recapture the belt.

Cormier said that in the fight, he went away from his original game plan. That makes the loss even more disappointing, “DC” said.

“That’s probably the biggest letdown — how I let my coaches down,” Cormier said at the UFC 241 post-fight press conference in Anaheim. “They were begging me to wrestle. That’s probably the most disappointing thing. I didn’t do what I was trained to do. I feel like I let my coaches down.”

Cormier, who knocked out Miocic last year to win the title, outstuck Miocic in the first three rounds of the rematch. That led him to wanting to stay on the feet with Miocic even if in reality, it wasn’t the smartest idea.

“When you start finding success and landing things, you just kind of fall in love with it,” Cormier, 40, said. ... “I just knew that I was hitting him, and I could see him getting marked up. I think you fall in love with the visuals of a guy’s face getting marked up.

“It feels like the (Alexander) Gustafsson fight all over again. I wrestled a lot in the first round, and then for the last four rounds, I just didn’t. [My coaches] were begging me to do it then, but tonight I actually paid the ultimate price for not listening to my coaches.”