Challenger Daniel ‘DC’ Cormier is going up against UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 252 next weekend. In their first fight, DC knocked out Stipe within the first few minutes of the bout. The second fight went way different with DC getting knocked out and Stipe reclaiming his throne. This third fight is up for grabs and the winner will get to hold their head high and truly say that they bested the other man.
Daniel has been open and vocal stating that win, lose, or draw, this will be his final fight before retirement. Stipe has not hinted towards retirement, and states that he wants to continue competing. This leaves us with one question: has there ever been more at stake for these guys?
Daniel Cormier, who at Light Heavyweight has beaten everyone not named Jon Jones, has moved back up in weight for the super-fight against Stipe, who originally not only knocked DC out, but also defended the heavyweight title shortly after against Derrick Lewis. Stipe became the first fighter ever to defend his championship in two different weight classes. If DC can end his career on a victory, and more importantly while holding the belt, he has to cement himself as one of the greatest of all time.
Stipe has been as dominant as any heavyweight we have seen in the UFC. He has lost only 3 times in his career, and he has fought the best of the best since he’s been in the promotion. He is looking to get the one-up on DC with a win again, as in their last fight, Stipe’s win was just to tie the series.
There is an unspoken rule that when a guy moves up in weight, the bigger of the two fighters should be the one who wins. Stipe may have underestimated Daniel in the first fight when he was knocked out in the first round. The second fight was back and forth until Stipe landed a few body blows that changed the course of the fight and led to the stoppage in round four. Everyone immediately knew that this trilogy fight was the ONLY fight to be made for both fighters, and neither of them have fought since the second bout.
This is the best trilogy fight the UFC has seen, and it is not arguable. All three of the fights will have the championship belt on the line, which lifts it above a lot of the other trilogies of fights we have seen. GSP and Matt Hughes is a close second, however, with this being a heavyweight fight and also with the magnitude that one of these fighters will never be competing again, it lifts the stakes a lot higher.
Will Daniel’s wrestling be more of a weapon in this fight? Will Stipe put the man into retirement early? These are questions we do not have the answer to right now, but we will be waiting patiently for them to be revealed.