One of the greatest mixed martial arts fighters of all time has called it a career.
Daniel Cormier announced his retirement Saturday after losing a UFC heavyweight title trilogy fight to Stipe Miocic by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) in the main event of UFC 252 in Las Vegas.
Cormier, a former Oklahoma State All-American wrestler and two-time Olympian, said he’s only interested in title fights and doesn’t see one in his future.
“I’m not interested in fighting for anything but titles. I don’t imagine there’s going to be a title in the future, so that will be it for me,” the 41-year-old Cormier said on the ESPN pay-per-view broadcast. “I’ve had a long run. It’s been great. I just fought my last fight for a heavyweight championship. It was a pretty good fight.”
Cormier is the only fighter to hold two UFC titles in different weight classes simultaneously and defend one title while still holding the other. He was 22-3-1 in his MMA career, including a 6-3-1 record in UFC title fights. Two of his three losses were to Miocic, considered the greatest heavyweight of all time, and light heavyweight GOAT Jon Jones.
Cormier won the first meeting against Miocic via first-round knockout at UFC 226 on July 7, 2018. Miocic answered in the rematch, stopping Cormier via fourth-round TKO at UFC 241 on Aug. 17, 2019.
Miocic opened the trilogy with a left hand to the body, but Cormier countered by closing the distance and looked for a takedown. Miocic scrambled away with Cormier lurking to deliver an overhand punch.
Cormier poked Miocic in the right eye with 1:30 remaining in the first round that caused a momentarily pause to the fight. Cormier then landed some shots with his right hand to take the first round.
Miocic mostly landed the harder shots the rest of the way, staggering Cormier late in the second and third rounds. But it didn’t come without some controversy as Miocic poked Cormier’s left eye and official Marc Goddard said he didn’t see it. In between rounds, Cormier told his corner he could no longer see out of the eye.
In the fourth, Miocic clinched Cormier and pushed him against the cage to limit Cormier’s movement and ability to create offense in space. The two traded a few shots, and Cormier went for an inside trip which caused the clinch the break and have the two each land big shots.
Miocic stayed with his gameplan in the fifth by forcing the action to the cage and holding position with strong wrist control. Cormier slipped loose a few times and deliver some big right hand shots that had him only to have Miocic regain control to close out the bout.
With the loss, former OSU wrestlers fall to 19-12-1 in UFC title fights.
Johny Hendricks: 1-2
Randy Couture: 10-6
Don Frye: 3-0