Reigning UFC Heavyweight champion and former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier is undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters to ever set foot into the Octagon. Since he moved to the UFC from sister promotion StrikeForce in 2013 he’s fought on 13 occasions, winning 11 of them – with his only two losses coming to his heated rival Jon Jones, who saw his second victory over Cormier overturned due to a positive PED test.
Over that time ‘DC’ has won both the UFC Heavyweight and Light-Heavyweight titles, and has made multiple successful defences of both belts. He’s finished great fighters by both KO and submission and he’s done it all with class and respect, becoming one of the most popular fighters on the roster at the same time.
With his latest title defence against Stipe Miocic right around the corner, here is a look at Daniel Cormier’s 5 best UFC fights.
#5 vs. Volkan Oezdemir – UFC 220
Cormier had a lot to prove to the UFC fanbase coming into his Light-Heavyweight title defense against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220 in January 2018. For those who’ve forgotten, ‘DC’ had actually lost his title to Jon Jones some six months prior, but when Jones tested positive for a banned substance, the result of their fight was overturned and the title was handed back to Cormier.
The fight still felt like a loss, though – PEDs or no PEDs – and so to many fans Cormier was considered somewhat of a paper champion. His fight with Oezdemir – who was 3-0 in the UFC and had knocked out top-ranked contenders Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa in quick fashion – was, therefore, his chance to redeem himself and to prove that he was the real champion at 205lbs.
And redeem himself he did. Oezdemir came out swinging, looking for another early finish, but this time his opponent’s chin held up, and Cormier quickly got to his preferred position – the clinch. From there, the Swiss fighter found himself beaten up and taken down, and only the buzzer saved him from a likely first-round submission loss.
The second round was more of the same, except this time, Cormier was able to seal the deal. He took Oezdemir down with ease, advanced to a mounted crucifix, and finished him off with a series of punches to the head.
Sure, the fight was business as usual for Cormier – Oezdemir was heavily overmatched – but it was still a highly impressive performance, and more to the point, it proved that with Jones out of the way, ‘DC’ ruled the 205lbs division with an iron fist.