Former two-weight UFC champion Daniel Cormier prefers his rivalry with Stipe Miocic to his intense rivalry with light heavyweight king Jon Jones.
Back in July 2018 at UFC 226, Cormier shocked the world when he knocked Miocic out in the first round to claim the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Then, 14 months later, Miocic got his revenge by knocking Cormier out in the rematch to reclaim the title.
In comparison, Cormier lost his first fight to Jones before being knocked out in the second – although the latter was chalked off and is now known as a no contest due to a Jones drug test.
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Cormier explained the difference between the two rivalries and why he prefers the dynamic with his heavyweight foe.
“I think (this is career defining),” Cormier said. “We had three fights, and I intend on winning the third fight and the trilogy. It will be difficult for me to ever be completely free of that rivalry with Jones because it was so big. We sold so much pay-per-view, and the rivalry was so nasty. We were so nasty with each other, and the general public paid attention. But competitively this is the one that I love, because I’m fighting a guy that has done and stood for the right things and has competed in the right way. Jones is a fantastic competitor, and I feel like still, he brought the best out of me in terms of my preparation. But I believe Stipe Miocic has done the same thing now.”
“I think it’s more pronounced because I want to win so badly and I feel like I just fumbled so bad,” Cormier said. “I fumbled really bad last time. I fumbled in a lot of ways. I was so distracted with everything going on in my life and I was so focused on coaching and all these other things that I kind of just fumbled. I fumbled bad and I wasn’t prepared as I needed to and I got tired. Like, I got tired. I can admit it. I got tired. He hit me with those shots in the end, he hurt me to the body and he hurt me to the head and I didn’t react because my body couldn’t react because I was so tired, and I will not allow that to happen again. If he ever finds a way to hurt me, I need to fight back like I did in every other instance in my entire life. I didn’t do that last time and it sits with me every single day.
“That’s why everybody is like, ‘Man, you’ve always got people around you.’ Because it sucks to be around my thoughts,” Cormier added. “When I’m just stuck with my thoughts a lot of time, I start thinking about the things that I didn’t do that got me beat last time.”
Have you preferred watching Daniel Cormier go toe-to-toe with Stipe Miocic or Jon Jones?