Daniel Cormier delivered one of the most electrifying moments in the history of mixed martial arts on Saturday night.
In his biggest career moment, Cormier delivered, winning via knockout at the 4:33 mark of the opening round to claim the championship.
With the win, the 39-year-old Cormier joins Conor McGregor as just the second simultaneous two-weight champion in the UFC’s 25-year history. He joins McGregor, Randy Couture, B.J. Penn, and Georges St-Pierre as the only fighters to hold belts in multiple weight classes any point in their UFC career.
“I was a heavyweight for a long time and I left the division,” Cormier said. “I never knew what I could become, but tonight I got the answer. I’m a two-division champion, baby!”
Cormier weighed in on Friday at 246 pounds, 3.5 heavier than Miocic. But Miocic nonetheless had a height and reach advantage that he exploited in the early going.
But while Miocic stung Cormier on several occasions, Cormier never lost his composure. And he found his opening late in the round. Clinched in the middle of the Octagon, Cormier dropped Miocic with a brutal right uppercut which dropped Miocic, then landed four uncontested punches on the ground before referee Marc Goddard waved things off.
“Watching the video, we noticed Stipe keeps his hands a little bit low coming out of the clinch,” Cormier said.
With the victory, Cormier improved to 21-1 (1 NC). He also improved to 14-0 in his career at heavyweight. Miocic (18-3) had a six-fight winning streak snapped, ending a title reign in which he became the only fighter ever to successfully defend the UFC heavyweight title three consecutive times.
After the bout, Cormier called out former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who came into the Octagon. The WWE star put on a pro-wrestling-like display to build up a presumed bout for later in the year.