Is Louisiana’s Daniel Cormier The Greatest UFC Fighter Ever?
History was made Saturday night at UFC 226, when UFC Light Heavyweight Daniel Cormier beat Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Giving Lafayette's Cormier two UFC Championships at one time. Making him only the second man ever to hold to UFC Titles at the same time. The other man is Conor McGregor.
Cormier has been dominating in the UFC for years, but the public hasn't paid as much attention to his on-going greatness as they maybe should have been. Fox Sports Radio's Jonas Knox reacted right after the match, making the case that Cormier is the greatest UFC fighter ever.
But Knox wasn't the only one on this topic. Before the fight even got underway, ESPN spoke with UFC reporter Ariel Helwani and MMA legend Chael Sonnen, and the topic of Cormier's greatness came up.
ESPN's Helwani makes the case for Cormier to be the SECOND greatest ever, behind Georges St. Pierre. The arguments made by the ESPN crew for St. Pierre over Cormier have more to do with sellouts (some of St. Pierre's fights were in smaller venues that Cormier's) and "respect". While Fox Sports' Knox made the argument about in-ring success.
The biggest blemish...well, the only blemish, is his rivalry with Jon Jones. The pair have fought twice, and Jones came out on top in the ring both times. However that's not what the official record shows. Because Jones failed a drug test (not his first, he got a 4 year suspension) after the second fight, so those results have been struck. Jones' entire career has the stink of PEDs on it, which calls all of his results into question. Like many records from Major League Baseball in the 90s; we can't prove that everyone was juiced, but we caught it often enough to reasonably believe it's all drug related.
So is Cormier the greatest UFC fighter ever? My vote is yes. If you're talking about money draws, then Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar move to the top. If you're talking about "respect" then you're lumping in Anderson Silva, Michael Bisping, and St. Pierre.
Now there will be "UFC Bros" who will hate on Cormier being on top, or Lesnar being involved (In fact I'm listening to a guy trying to argue that the UFC died Saturday night as I write this) because they don't think it's "their" UFC. But you won't be able to mock the money that this fight will draw. Cormier vs. Lesnar will be the highest grossing UFC match ever. These "Bros" will hate on Cormier for his body type ("He doesn't look like a UFC Champion") and they will hate on the UFC for having structure (they just want open weight classes and no gloves). But that's not what's going to make money.
Daniel Cormier, being presented as the greatest UFC fighter ever, versus the biggest (male) name in UFC history Brock Lesnar, is going to make a lot of people, a lot of money.
If Cormier wins that match, with all those eyes, against a name like Brock Lesnar, there will no longer be a discussion. Cormier will be universally recognized as the greatest UFC fighter ever.