White: Winner of Miocic vs. Cormier is the UFC heavyweight G.O.A.T.
The UFC heavyweight division is so subject to Holy F***ing S*** moments that only one division champ has ever successfully defended the title three times. That was of course Stipe Miocic, who saw the streak broken and title lost to Daniel Cormier. However, Miocic won the immediate rematch, and now the pair have a trilogy fight in the main event of UFC 252 on August 15, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
During a recent conversation with ESPN's Brett Okamato, UFC president Dana White argued compellingly that the winner is the greatest heavyweight fighter in league history.
“The truth is going into this fight with all the hype, one of these two that wins the fight, definitely goes down as the best heavyweight in UFC history and they’re both candidates,” said White, as transcribed by the ever tremendous Damon Martin for MMA Fighting. “If you look at what Stipe has accomplished and Cormier in two different [divisions] what this guy has accomplished is one of the greatest of all time.”
Cormier, who is also a former light heavyweight champion, talked with Martin about what's at stake.
“I don’t even think the pressure comes from retirement or anything,” said Cormier. “I think the pressure comes in what you just said — it’s the third fight. It’s the fight that ends the debate. There’s a lot at stake in this fight.
“Not only the heavyweight championship of the world but also whoever wins this fight is going to be remembered as the greatest heavyweight of this era and the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. This is a big fight. This fight has massive stakes.”
If White has his way, Cormier would continue fighting regardless of the outcome of his fight against Miocic.
Rarely has the UFC president attempted to talk a fighter out of retirement but that’s the kind of admiration White has for Cormier even as he approaches his 42nd birthday in 2021.
White has given any number of fighters The Talk, convincing them it's time to move on. But that's not happening with Cormier, who had vowed to retire at 40, and turns 42 next year. DC says emphatically that win, lose, or draw, this is his last fight.
“I hope it’s not,” White said about the trilogy with Miocic serving as Cormier’s final fight. “You know me, when it’s time to retire for guys, I’m the first guy to say hey, you should probably do it.
“What’s crazy is Cormier is up there in age but he’s still one of the greatest of all time. Dominated two weight I still think he’s got a lot left but it isn’t my body. He truly knows the answer to that.”
What do you think UG? If not DC or Stipe, who??!?