With a win at UFC 226, Daniel Cormier has claimed the UFC heavyweight championship and a spot on the MMA Mount Rushmore.
However, the title: ‘Greatest of All Time’ is subjective. He has cemented his spot up there with the greats. But is he The Greatest? Despite his status as two-weight world champion, GOAT status may still elude him in some people’s minds. So, let’s explore why DC has earned this lofty accolade.
Being a two division champion enters you into an exclusive club but that has only assured his claim. It is Cormier’s past resumé that has contributed the most to his position as GOAT.
Cormier is lineal champion in that he has beaten almost everyone of note in his divisions and they have beaten everybody else. Before he even made it to the UFC, Cormier won the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix.
On the way to becoming the Strikeforce grand prix champion, Cormier beat the likes of Josh Barnett and ‘Bigfoot’ Silva. Barnett is a legend of the sport, once the youngest UFC champion in history, he has beat a whose who from the division’s history books.
Silva holds wins over Alistair Overeem and Fedor Emelianenko. Overeem is one of the most decorated champions ever, in combat sports generally. Fedor is of course one of the names thrown around in the GOAT talks, an MMA pioneer.
When Cormier eventually joined the UFC, he dispatched opponents like Roy Nelson, Frank Mir and Dan Henderson with ease before a failed attempt at Jon Jones’ light heavyweight title.
Jones’ first incident outside of the ring forced the UFC to strip him of the title. A bout between Cormier and Anthony Johnson for the vacant belt took place as a result and DC submitted the explosive knockout artist.
Since then Cormier has defeated Alexander Gustafsson, Anderson Silva, Volkan Oezdemir and now heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
The only two blemishes on his record are to Jon Jones who has tested positive for PEDs twice now. Even forgetting the recreational drugs use, doping automatically eliminates you from the GOAT conversation. Excuses can be made but the fact is, neither Stipe nor Cormier have tested positive.
Jones could have been The Greatest but he sabotaged himself. Cormier has succeed where he failed and then some.