Starting With UFC 220, 2018 is the Year DC Gets His Respect
It’s about time we took notice of the greatness in front of us. For too long the MMA community has ignored the talents of Daniel Cormier simply because he happens to share a division with the most talented fighter to ever step into the Octagon. However, for the first time in a very long time Daniel Cormier has the chance to do something he has deserved throughout his UFC career. He finally has the chance to build a legacy independent of Jon Jones. With Jones potentially spending the next few years on the sideline due to his second failed drug test (third if you count the cocaine incident), the UFC and its fans will have no choice but to acknowledge the incredible talent that’s been taken for granted during Cormier’s UFC run.
Outside of his loss to “Bones” Jones, DC has done nothing but dispatch top contenders throughout his career. He is one of very few fighters to have multiple top 10 wins in two weight classes and joins Frankie Edgar, GSP, and Demetrious Johnson as the only current UFC fighters with a title belt in one weight class and multiple top 10 wins in another division. Not only does he have impressive wins over Anthony Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson, and Josh Barnett, he also has no clear blemishes on his record. Unlike most of the names who normally appear in discussions of the greatest fighters win UFC history, Cormier doesn’t have a bad loss on his record. While most fighters suffer setbacks early in their careers against somewhat lesser opponents, Cormier was a champion in Strikeforce with wins over Barnett and “Bigfoot” Silva by his tenth career fight. This sustained greatness across two divisions and his consistent dominance in his fights should be enough to already have DC in the conversation as a top-10 fighter of all time. While his loss to Jones will keep him from ever being able to claim the top spot on the list, but it would be absolutely criminal to keep him entirely off of it.
With a win over Volkan Oezdemir, Cormier’s third successful defense of the light heavyweight belt would be a strong step toward further entrenching himself in the discussion of all-time greats. It would be another strong statement of just how talented DC is. Oezdemir would be the second contender Cormier has dispatched who ran through the division before attempting to take his belt. With the defense coming so early in the year there is a very good possibility that Cormier could claim two more title defenses before the end of the year. This would put his total at five, tying Tito Ortiz for second in all-time title defenses at light heavyweight. This would give Cormier a level of two-division success that would be hard to match. While it still wouldn’t put him in the conversation with Jones, this level of success at light heavyweight coupled with what he accomplished at heavyweight would suddenly put Cormier in the discussion as a top five fighter in MMA history.
While he doesn’t ever seem to get the respect he deserves for it, there are very few fighters who have been able to accomplish what Daniel Cormier has in MMA. If Cormier continues to consistently impress this year the way he has in the past we should be having the conversation of him retiring as a top five fighter all-time this time next year. For too long Cormier has been disrespected by fans because of his loss to Jon Jones, but in 2018 it’s time he finally gets his due.