Daniel Cormier is already one of mixed martial arts’ most revered figures, winning titles in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight categories in the UFC in addition to an athletic career which saw him qualify for two separate Olympic Games.
However, ‘DC’ says he is aiming to making his greatest sporting statement this weekend by reclaiming the heavyweight belt from Stipe Miocic in his final career fight — an achievement he says which will place him in the same league as some of the biggest names in all of sport.
“In MMA, yes, but I think it puts you right alongside the greatest sports athletes of all time,” he said to the media, including The Mac Life, in Las Vegas Thursday. “Michael Jordan won with the Bulls when they beat the Jazz. Unfortunately, he came back. I won’t come back.
“Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl in his last season. It would put me in that type of sphere, with some of the greatest athletes that have ever competed across any sport. When I win on Saturday, I will retire that way.”
Dana White has already intimated that he would attempt to persuade Cormier to remain within the sport should be win impressively on Saturday night, but Cormier says that his plans are concrete. To walk away a world champion, he says, is the finest statement one can make in their last fight.
“That’s the problem with most athletes,” he said. “When you do that, you feel like, I’m the best in the world. Most of the guys in my position when they’re talking about being done, they’re down on the prelims somewhere. They’re there for some young guy to beat and elevate their name.
“That’s not me. I’m fighting to be the best in the world. So on Saturday, when I win, I’m the best in the world. But you’ve got to be comfortable walking away as the best in the world, or eventually, you’re going to end up on the prelims for somebody to beat you and build off your name. It’s just the way the game works.”