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Daniel Cormier looked for finishing blow after discovering Stipe Miocic didn’t hit ‘abnormally hard’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Daniel Cormier had to know that he could take Stipe Miocic’s hardest punches before he could go about putting a stop to their heavyweight title clash.

“DC” became the second man in UFC history to hold two titles simultaneously when he dispatched former champion Miocic with just 30 seconds left in the first round of their UFC 226 main event.

Speaking to the gathered media after his big win, Cormier insisted that he needs to get a read on Miocic’s timing and power before he could think about stopping the Cleveland native.

“When we fight a guy we like to get his timing, so that’s what I was doing,” said Cormier at the post-fight press conference.

“I was seeing how he hit and seeing how fast he was and everything. He took me down and he was trying to hit me when I got back up. It all hurts, Stipe is a big, strong guy, he’s a great champion, but it wasn’t anything abnormal. I was like, ‘He hits hard, but not abnormally hard’. When I figured that out and I got a little bit of his timing, I figured that it wouldn’t be one punch that kind of slept me.”

After discovering that Miocic didn’t hit “abnormally hard”, the AKA fighter knew he could look to engage in the clinch. He explained why he chose to throw a right hook on his exit from the clinch that inevitably stopped the contest.

“I could start to match forward and try get in the clinch. That’s what I started doing and I started to have success there; hitting him with the jab and hitting him with a couple of right hands,” explained Cormier.

“Early in the fight, we got into a clinch position and you guys know one of my favorite positions is a collar tie and uppercuts. I’m sure [Miocic] planned for that, but Rosendo [Sanchez] and I have been working on going collar tie, uppercut, and then following it with a right hook. After the first one, I think [Miocic] tried to block the first uppercut but then the right hook was coming and it landed beautifully.”