Daniel Cormier’s head coach would consider the UFC light heavyweight champion one of the best to ever do it if he beats heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic next weekend at UFC 226.
In a recent interview with Submission Radio, American Kickboxing Academy’s Javier Mendez explained that ‘DC’ should be in the greatest-of-all-time discussion if he becomes a two-division champ in Las Vegas, simply because others have taken themselves out of that conversation.
“I think [Cormier] is in the GOAT discussion only because the other people that should be there are disqualified — by their doing or not their doing, they got disqualified,” Mendez said. “So, to me, it’s a no-brainer as why he would be considered in that category. If you disqualify yourself, you disqualify yourself. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter, you’re disqualified. So just from that point alone, a hundred percent he’s in the discussion in my opinion.”
In past years, Cormier has taken advantage of rival Jon Jones’ mishaps outside the cage. Cormier would win the 205-pound title after Jones was stripped of it following a car accident in April 2015. He defended the title multiple times, then lost it briefly at UFC 214 last summer. But “Bones” failed a drug test, and “DC” was reinstated as champ.
Before any talk of Cormier being the best MMA fighter of all time, however, he needs to get past a tough opponent in Miocic, who has defended the heavyweight championship a record-number three times since winning it two years ago.
Mendez thinks Cormier might just dominate Miocic like he did against previous heavyweight opponents. Cormier dropped down to 205 pounds in 2014 after an undefeated run up a weight class. He found much success at light heavyweight, winning the title and only falling short once — to Jon Jones in 2015.
And as far as how Cormier beats Miocic, Mendez believes Cormier’s biggest advantage is on the ground.
“[Stipe has] great hands, too,” Mendez said. “Also, he has good power backing up, going forward — he’s extremely well-rounded, he’s got a good IQ. He’s got everything. And with ‘DC,’ what edges him out a little bit is in the wrestling. (He’s) a little higher wrestler. I think we have more striking opportunities with what we have, but the power factor goes to [Miocic], the height factor goes to him.
“But that’s nothing new to ‘DC.’ When he fought as a heavyweight for the 12 or 13 fights, he never lost a round in any of his heavyweight fights. The rounds that DC’s ever lost were in the light heavyweight division, but never in the heavyweight. Honestly speaking, I’m expecting that to happen again where he just dominates the heavyweights.”
Cormier faces Miocic in the UFC 226 main event on July 7 at T-Mobile Arena on pay-per-view. Should he win, he would be the fifth fighter in promotion history to hold titles in two weight classes.