UFC 241 was supposed to be the grand farewell of former two divisions and then UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. The spotlights of the Honda Centre in Anaheim was upon Cormier who was ready to cement his legacy as the greatest heavyweight of all time and ride off into the sunset. But Stipe Miocic, who stood across the cage from Cormier for the second time after a year on the fence, was there to take his belt back from Cormier who took it from Stipe back in UFC 226. So when Miocic finished off Cormier on the 4th round of the bout starting with a flurry of body shots which then paved the way for a TKO, a question engulfed the MMA world:
Who is the greatest heavyweight of all time? And on 15th August, the MMA world gets its answer. Daniel Cormier vs Stipe Miocic 3, the trilogy fight that will crown the undisputed GOAT of the division.
Miocic's path to UFC 252 :
Miocic's victory in UFC 241 came after a frustrating year on the sidelines waiting for Cormier to accept the rematch after his first round KO loss to him in UFC 226. But at the same time, a new rival emerged for Cormier which took the MMA world into a frenzy. Cormier's in ring altercation with WWE superstar and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesner took away the attention from Stipe. Cormier vs Lesner never materialized and Cormier went on to defend his belt against Derrick Lewis in UFC 230; while Miocic waited for a whole year for his rematch. He stood firm on the ground that in UFC 226 Cormier got lucky in the clinch position and it was a fluke and as someone who holds the record for most number of successive title defences in the Heavyweight defence he deserves a shot at redemption against Cormier. So when he finally got his hands on Cormier on UFC 241, he made sure that he walks away with the belt this time, becoming a two time heavyweight champion putting forth his claim for the greatest heavyweight of all time.
CORMIER’S PATH TO UFC 252:
On the other hand, when the referee stopped the fight at UFC 241, an exhausted Daniel Cormier, breathing heavy, sitting against the cage, reminded the fans of UFC 214. It was the same Honda Centre,and it was another rematch, against the light heavyweight GOAT Jon Jones. And the result was same. A defeated Daniel Cormier sitting against the fence. Cormier has came a long way after that. He reigned over the light heavyweight division when Jon Jones was out of action for his off the ring antics. He was the one who kept the show going for the lightweight division before climbing up to heavyweight and claiming the belt in that division too. And in the process he has turned the jeers and boos, that used to accompany him against his arch rival Jon Jones despite being the good guy in that scenario, into cheers and applause. He became the second simultaneous two divisions champion of UFC after Conor McGregor. But Miocic at the Honda Centre took away the fairy tale ending of Daniel Cormier's book.
So now, we go again for a third time at UFC Apex, Las Vegas to find out who is the undisputed king of heavyweights. Cormier has already announced that this is going to be his last fight and Miocic coming from a vicious eye injury could also hang up his gloves if something happens to his eyes in the fight. Cormier predicts he would wrestle his way to the victory this time while Miocic fired back at him saying “every fight starts standing, don’t forget that.”
So on August 15, the MMA world would be glued to the screens to watch two of the greatest mixed martial artists going at it against each other in an empty Apex arena to cement their legacy and transcend the sports for one last time. Will Cormier ride off to the sunset with the belt over his shoulder or will Miocic erase any remaining doubt that he was and is the greatest of all time in the division. UFC 252: The battle for the heavyweight supremacy is well and truly on.Published 02 Aug 2020, 19:16 IST