Daniel Cormier was stopped for the second time in his career, losing his heavyweight title in the process at UFC 241.
Anaheim, CA – Daniel Cormier had a strong first 15 minutes against Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 that gave a feeling that DC will leave the Honda Center with the belt. However, Miocic switched things up in the fourth round and came away with a stoppage victory.
“I felt like I was doing pretty good. But then he landed that shot. In the fourth round, he landed some good body punches. He landed that right hand that I didn’t see and he got the finish. He did a great job.”
Cormier explained that it was not only Miocic’s successes that led to the stoppage, but Cormier’s own shortcomings.
“I kind of took the pressure off a little bit. I don’t know why. Maybe to try to rest or recover for the fifth round because he wasn’t going anywhere. I don’t know what the reasoning behind it was, but I’m going to say it was a mistake.”
Like he did in the Octagon, DC put retirement talk on hold for now.
“A lot of times, we base our decisions on emotion, and I don’t want to be that guy. I’m going to go back and talk to Selina [Cormier’s wife] and my coaches and we’ll figure out what’s next.”
Cormier, rightfully so, was incredibly confident heading into the fourth round. However, he left himself open to the finishing blow that he did not see coming.
“The problem is I was going and he was hitting me, but I didn’t feel that much. It’s not about the shots that you take, it’s the ones that you just don’t see coming. That was a great combination by Stipe off that body shot. He threw that one-two right behind it and I didn’t see it. A lot of times, I see punches and I roll with them so I don’t take the full brunt of the punch. But on that one, he landed perfect.”
The loss to Miocic was Cormier’s first at heavyweight, and the second time he’s been stopped in his career.
“Losing is just terrible for me. I’m a competitive guy. Just losing any type of fight is just terrible. Being finished, to me, is insane. I never really thought about them in comparison to each other. But that’s twice I’ve been stopped. That’s not good. I’m smart enough to understand that.”
Miocic came in much lighter for this fight than in their first bout. While it didn’t affect his speed in Cormier’s eyes, his cardio was impressive.
“I didn’t feel like he was faster. I really didn’t. But I think in some instances he maybe tired a little bit more and I think tonight, he may not have tired as much as he did prior when he was bigger. But he didn’t feel faster. I still feel like I could see what he was throwing. I thought he just fought a good fight. We fought three and a half, almost four rounds. I haven’t watched the fight, so I don’t know how I was doing in the fight. Everything is going so fast in there, so I don’t know how I was doing in regards to winning or losing. I feel like I was doing good but obviously, he finished the fight so that doesn’t matter.”
The former champion was finding success on the feet, but his coaches wanted the opposite from him. DC just did not make the adjustment though.
“[Wrestling] was the strategy. That’s probably the biggest letdown. How I let my coaches down. They were begging me to wrestle. And that’s probably the most disappointing thing. I didn’t do what I was trained to do and I feel like I let my coaches down. I think when you start finding success and start landing things you fall in love with it. It feels like the [Alexander] Gustafsson fight where I wrestled a lot in the first round and then in the last four rounds, I just didn’t. They were begging me to do it then, but tonight, I paid the ultimate price for not listening to my coaches. I’m usually pretty good about doing that.”
It was a classic class of a wrestler falling in love with his striking.
“I didn’t know how many times I was hitting him. I just know that I was hitting him and I could see him getting marked up and you just fall in love with the visuals of a guy’s face getting marked up.”
Check out the rest of Daniel Cormier’s UFC 241 post-fight presser above!