UFC champ-champ Daniel Cormier has only lost to one fighter, Jon Jones, in his decade-long mixed martial arts career. After losing to Jones the first time at UFC 182 for the light heavyweight title in January 2015, Cormier’s legacy was in the shadow of Jones. In 2018, Cormier stepped out of the shadow and separated his legacy from his biggest rival.
“DC” lost to Jones a second time at UFC 214, but the result was later changed to a no-contest ruling after Jones tested positive to the banned substance oral turinabol. Jones’ career has been plagued in controversies inside and outside of the cage, but he’s still considered the greatest 205-pound fighter to step foot inside the octagon.
Cormier retained the title after Jones was stripped, fined, and suspended, but many, including Jones, questioned the legitimacy of Cormier’s light heavyweight crown. While debate still rages about Cormier’s 205-pound legacy, he silenced the doubters at UFC 226 in July by going up to the heavyweight division and knocking out the longest reigning heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic.
“For what I’ve done, winning the heavyweight title, everything was so tied to (Jones) initially that me getting the heavyweight title was something so completely separate, especially being that I was undefeated in the weight class prior,” Cormier told UFC.com. “Going up into a weight that was always thought to be my weight class, winning the UFC title, it helped me.”
The tables have somewhat turned between Jones and Cormier. Cormier has established himself as the heavyweight champion. Jones won the vacant 205-pound title at UFC 232 by finishing top contender Alexander Gustafsson. Cormier has nothing left to prove while Jones works to repair his reputation.
“I think for Jones to truly get back everything that he’s lost, it would be good for him and I to fight again. For me, I’ve established my career outside of him. He’s done things outside of me, too, but for him, it would be good if he got to fight me again,” said Cormier.
Cormier defended the heavyweight title in his last outing at UFC 230 in November. He sits atop the pound-for-pound rankings and life is good for the champ-champ.
“It feels great,” Cormier said. “Even when they keep releasing the pound-for-pound rankings and I’m ranked above him and he goes, ‘That’s BS,’ absolutely not. You are a great fighter, but you’re a great fighter at the weight class you’ve always stayed at. I’ve done it in multiple weight classes and pound-for-pound says it’s a fighting style that translates across weight classes, and I’ve been the champion in two of them. So I think I am the definition of pound-for-pound.”