Daniel Cormier has joined Conor McGregor in a very exclusive club after his showing at UFC 226 last weekend but of the two, who is the premier example of a dual-weight world champion?
UFC 226’s historic super-fight showdown over the weekend produced one of the most stunning moments in UFC history. Daniel Cormier, the man who many had picked as an undersized challenger to the betting favourite Stipe Miocic’s heavyweight crown, managed to do the unthinkable in KO’ing him in the very first round.
DC now sits with Conor McGregor as just the second fighter to ever win belts and hold them in two weight-classes simultaneously – an achievement that is a testament to this guy’s unshakeable perseverance. Cormier always seemed to fall short at the final hurdle over the course of his career – with this mainly being attributed to his rivalry with the great Jon Jones.
Now, though, as he said himself, he now has an achievement that lies outside of his and Jones’ unique dynamic but for the sake of having a bit of fun, we’re going to pair him with a new rival – one that falls within his new, exclusive grouping.
Conor McGregor won his second UFC belt in the fight that unfortunately still stands as his last octagon outing – UFC 205 in November of 2016 – defeating Eddie Alvarez by way of second-round TKO.
Five categories and five rounds for the title of undisputed champ-champ champion of the world.
Round 1 – Calibre of opponents beaten throughout career
Cormier’s notable wins: Stipe Miocic (KO), Anthony Johnson (SUB x2), Anderson Silva (DEC), Alexander Gustafsson (DEC), Frank Mir (DEC), Josh Barnett (DEC), Antonio Silva (KO)
The one win that has eluded Daniel Cormier over the course of his career may well define his status as a legend of the game, but for what it’s worth – he has managed to put together an absolutely incredible resumé.
McGregor’s notable wins: Max Holloway (DEC), Dustin Poirier (KO), Chad Mendes (KO), José Aldo (KO), Nate Diaz (DEC), Eddie Alvarez (KO)
Conor’s MMA career, by comparison, hasn’t seen him take on the level of competition that DC has. They have more-or-less the same amount of pro-fights but Cormier was thrown straight into the deep end, while the Irishman’s rise was spent on the local scene before his vicious ascent against the smaller men of the featherweight division.
It is genuinely closer than I’m making it out to be, but Daniel Cormier comes through and has a comfortable first-round.
Daniel Cormier 10 – 9 Conor McGregor
Round 2 – Performance in UFC title-fights
Cormier (5 – 1, 1 NC) – W: 2 KO, 2 SUB, 1 DEC L: 1 DEC
McGregor (2 – 0) – W: 2 KO
This is an interesting one that is completely subjective.
Cormier has the better record. He’s been in there in title situations with some of the very best to ever do it and with an even share of knockouts and submissions, he has proven his pedigree over five-rounds. Performance-wise, DC has taken tremendous damage on several occasions in those fights though. Gustafsson dropped him, Rumble hurt him badly twice and while one of them is now ruled as a no-contest, how can we forget how successful Jones was.
I’m going to annoy a lot of people with this one but I firmly believe that with a 13-second KO that ended ten-year spell of dominance and a masterful clinic in the art of striking at a heavier weight, that will be enough to give the nod to Conor McGregor this time around. They were two perfect performances that even his most fervent of detractors couldn’t pick apart.
Conor McGregor 19 – 19 Daniel Cormier
Round 3 – Skillset as a fighter on a technical level
This one is tight. Cormier no doubt possesses the more complete MMA arsenal. His Olympic-level wrestling has often been shrugged to one side to allow his severely underrated striking to take hold and after his first-round KO of Miocic last weekend, his argument is stronger than ever.
That win was a consequence of strong clinch-work and quick powerful hands as well as an unrivalled ability to mix both together in unison.
Conor, on the other hand, just doesn’t have the overall game to match DC. I’d honestly see his striking prowess as more technically impressive and therefore more devastating than anything his foe here will bring to the table, but on the merits of being the more well-rounded mixed martial artist, we’re gonna edge this one to the American.
Daniel Cormier 29 – 28 Conor McGregor
Round 4 – Success as a flagship star for the promotion
The double-champ can’t be some nobody. To be an under-promoted and perhaps under-appreciated UFC champion is one thing – take Stipe Miocic for example – but to be a champ-champ, you’re instantly in a category that brings with it a springboard for your aspirations to make it as a celebrity.
DC is doing well to increase his star-power with his work as a commentator and UFC on FOX analyst and who knows, maybe after his seemingly inevitable clash with Brock Lesnar he can take it to the next-level.
Let’s be real, though. There’s only one winner here.
Conor McGregor 38 – 38 Daniel Cormier
Round 5 – Standing in the pound-for-pound G.O.A.T conversation
Cormier established his claim to the title of greatest of all-time after his victory on Saturday but in truth, he’s been in and around that conversation for some time now, whether people admit it or not.
An unbeaten heavyweight who had a title-run at light-heavyweight, DC has done it all. He has held and defended the belt, beaten the big names, taken the fights with the small names and proven himself beyond any doubt at two separate weights. Nobody in the history of the sport has had the type of prolonged success in two divisions that this guy has enjoyed.
The Jon Jones factor remains but nonetheless, his achievements far eclipse those of McGregor – although the Irishman has more than enough time to change that in the long-run.
Conor’s potential to be in this discussion is painfully clear, but until he makes his case concrete, I’m scoring this round for the new, undisputed champ-champ champion of the world, Daniel Cormier.
Daniel Cormier 48 – 47 Conor McGregor
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena