The world of heavyweight mixed martial arts is full of action-packed, adrenaline-fueled, one-punch drama. In turn, this unpredictability is what creates a lack of clarity regarding naming the division’s all-time great. So, let’s take a look at whether Daniel Cormier would cement his status as the heavyweight GOAT should he win his trilogy fight with Stipe Miocic.
The Need to Make Adjustments for Their Trilogy Fight at UFC 252
After a perfectly-timed right-hand shot landed on the exit of a clinch in the closing stages of round one during their UFC 226 superfight, Cormier claimed the heavyweight title for the first time with the Las Vegas-based organization. Following the triumph, which saw him become a champion in two different weight classes, Cormier established himself as an all-time great within the 265-pound division, having gone undefeated at heavyweight throughout his career.
However, during the highly-anticipated rematch at UFC 241, Miocic took revenge on the two-time light-heavyweight champion as he secured a fourth-round finish to reclaim the title from his opponent. Because of that, many now believe that their trilogy bout will determine who the greatest heavyweight of all time is. Fundamentally, this is down the fact that, if Cormier can avenge his defeat, his heavyweight record will include 16 victories and one loss.
At the time of writing, it’s difficult to dispute that the discussion regarding the UFC’s most successful 265-pound fighter undoubtedly includes both Cormier and Miocic. Crucially, however, if the Louisiana-born athlete is to cement his legacy at heavyweight, he’ll need to work on countering the left-hand body shots that ultimately swayed the previous fight in Miocic’s favor. Moreover, as of June 18th, the 41-year-old is 10/13 to reclaim the heavyweight strap as per odds online at Space Casino.
A Division that has Been Stacked with World-Class Talent
While, as mentioned above, both Cormier and Stone Cold can stake a claim for the title of being the UFC’s greatest heavyweight, several other fighters should also be in the discussion. In their own right, both Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum deserve recognition for their achievements and contributions.
In defeating Francis Ngannou at UFC 220, Miocic set a new record of three consecutive titles defenses for the hard-hitting division. By achieving this, the 37-year-old surpassed the previous total that was held by Velasquez, in addition to numerous other competitors. Although Cardio Cain’s record is now 14-3, those within the sport, such as Joe Rogan, still regard the NCAA Division I wrestler as the best heavyweight fighter that they have seen. Throughout his career, the six-foot-one orthodox athlete has beaten some of the division’s most well-known names, including Antonio Silva, Brock Lesnar, and Junior Dos Santos.
In contrast, however, Velasquez has fallen short against Werdum. Outside of the UFC, Fedor Emilianenko is generally regarded as being the sport’s GOAT. That said, he too has been submitted by the Brazilian. Although this in itself is not enough to wholeheartedly declare that the now 42-year-old is the most impressive 265-pound to ever grace the octagon, he is the only fighter to beat both Emilianenko and Velasquez.
The Trilogy Fight Could Provide Clarity
Ultimately, the result of the bout at UFC 252 could prove pivotal in the discussion regarding the UFC’s greatest heavyweight. Given his record, few could argue that two victories over Miocic would put Cormier at the top of the 265-pound pile, especially if he were to retire as a two-time heavyweight champion.