Daniel Cormier feels there’s more on the line at UFC 226 than the heavyweight title

Daniel Cormier

At UFC 226, which goes down on July 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada, reigning UFC light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier will return to his former haunts in the heavyweight division for a battle with divisional kingpin Stipe Miocic.

If Cormier topples this momentous challenge, he’ll have to make room on his crowded mantle — which is already home to several UFC light heavyweight belts and a Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix belt — for a UFC heavyweight belt. Yet for the American Kickboxing Academy staple, there’s far more on the line at UFC 226 then another gold belt. In his eyes, the winner of his bout with Miocic could easily be considered the best pound-for-pound fighter alive.

“That’s what it should be,” Cormier told FloCombat’s Damon Martin. “Stipe and I are ranked like No. 3 and 4 or No. 4 and 5 in the pound-for-pound rankings right now. How much better does it get than that? This is as good as it gets in terms of sport, in terms of athletic competition, in terms of importance of the sport tied to one fight.”

“It’s unbelievable. I’m so lucky to be a part of this.”

Cormier then explained that this bout with Miocic is exactly the kind of challenge he’s been waiting for — a chance to prove his station as one of the greatest fighters to ever compete in mixed martial arts.

“This gives me exactly what I’ve been pining for,” Cormier said. “I get this done, everything I’ve always wanted, wished for, and hoped for is not only a reality but it’s my truth now. I can honestly say I am one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time and have no reservations about it and no one can question it.”

“They can only say you know what he’s accomplished, he has that right, and he’s earned it.”

If Daniel Cormier defeats Stipe Miocic at UFC 226, will you consider him one of the best to ever do it?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/16/2018.