Former UFC double-champion Daniel Cormier is the first name to be included in the Hall of Fame Class of 2022. The announcement was made during the UFC 274 broadcast on Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona, right before the co-headliner title fight between Rose Namajunas and Carla Esparza.
The 43-year-old Cormier wasn’t able to contain his emotions during that moment. But in a short post-fight media scrum, he was able to process and articulate his emotions.
“I always said things like ‘heroes are champions, they fade, but your legacy stays forever.’ And this is part of my legacy. Even when my days are gone, my kids and my kids’ kids can always take their kids to Vegas and see their dad in the Hall of Fame.
“To be remembered is a truly, truly special thing. And I think with this, it’s like the icing on the cake of a lifetime of things that I’ve been able to accomplish. It’s very special.
“I fought hard. I was never the biggest, I was always the smallest. And I made do with what I had. I wrestled my ass off. I fought with all the tools that I was blessed with, cardio. It’s just hard work.”
After a short heavyweight stint in his entry to the UFC in 2013 that involved beating ex-champion Frank Mir, Cormier, then undefeated, went on a tear at 205 pounds before running into Jon Jones. He was able to avenge that loss before once again encountering Jones and losing the light heavyweight title.
Cormier was reinstated as a champion because of a blunder on Jones’ part, then won the heavyweight belt shortly after to become the second fighter to hold two undisputed titles simultaneously.
“DC” retired in 2020 after losing his third heavyweight title bid against fellow ex-champion Stipe Miocic. He left the sport with a record of 22-3 (with 1 NC and 15 stoppages). Cormier is also part of the UFC color commentary team, working both PPV events and Fight Night cards at the APEX.