Daniel Cormier knows more than most when it comes to top level competition.
The former Olympian turned world titleholder in mixed martial arts has faced the highest level of competition possible throughout his athletic career and, in Stipe Miocic, will do so once again later this year when he aims to become just the second person to hold two UFC titles consecutively.
Cormier has had a storied rivalry with fellow 205-pounder Jon Jones but with that particular feud showing no sign of reaching a final resolution owing to Jones’ current ban, he is focused now on adding an extra element to his lengthy athletic achievements at UFC 226 in July.
“This is the biggest fight of my life,” said to FloCombat. “This is the biggest fight I’ve ever been in. I have played a major part in some of the biggest fights in the UFC. I mean I was at UFC 182, I was a big part of UFC 200, supposed to headline it, was a massive part of UFC 214, and now this one. I have been involved in some of the biggest moments in this sport’s young history and I’m so happy about it and honored to be put in those positions.
“The UFC must trust me to put me in those positions over again, over again, knowing that I’m going to show up and I’m going to do my thing.”
As longtime fans of Cormier will know, he already has a history in the heavyweight division. The Louisiana native competed at heavyweight for the first 13 bouts of his career, winning them all, and took the top prize at the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix in 2012, defeating the likes of Antonio Silva and Josh Barnett along the way.
Having never experienced defeat in the heavyweight division, Cormier says that he wasn’t able to pass up the opportunity to join Conor McGregor in the most exclusive of mixed martial arts clubs.
“You don’t get those opportunities. These are so rare,” Cormier continued. “The chance to do something historic. The ability to accomplish something that when I’m done, I will leave this behind. My kids, my son, my daughter, will always be able to go back and look back to July 7, 2018, and say ‘That was the night my dad made history.’ That was the night that my dad etched his name in stone and became a part of the history books. Those opportunities are too big to pass up.
“Once my teammates and coaches all said, ‘Hey, let’s do it. We’re going to dive headfirst into this thing,’ I was like, ‘You know what guys? Let’s go. Let’s go try to be great.”