UFC 252 gives us an all-time legend
The heavyweight title trilogy between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier was billed as a battle for more than just the title. Indeed, UFC head Dana White had said that whoever won their bout could consider themselves an all-time legend of the sport. Before the match, the betting odds on this betting portal and many others could not split the two fighters by too much, so well-matched were they. Eventually though, it was Miocic who walked away with the belt, and arguably legendary status as well.
It’s odd that it took this win for Miocic to be widely recognized as one of the greatest UFC heavyweight fighters ever. He has broken the record for consecutive UFC heavyweight title defences. He lost his belt to Cormier earlier, but then knocked him out to reclaim it at UFC 252. He even won the bout by unanimous decision from the judges. All of these achievements, not to mention his stellar career so far, should be enough proof of the man’s greatness.
The numbers, in terms of wins and title reigns, are in his favour for this argument as well. However, the scary bit is that it seems like Miocic is only getting better, and if that is true, then UFC fighters everywhere in the heavyweight category should forget about getting a shot at the title anytime soon. Let’s be honest, Cormier is no pushover. Even at the age of 41, having announced that this fight would be his last, Cormier was still one of the best in the business. Despite arriving in UFC at the relatively late age of 30, he still managed to win titles in two divisions and land a spot in the Hall of Fame. And this was the guy who Miocic beat to regain his belt. Make no mistake, Miocic is the greatest UFC heavyweight ever.
It was unfortunate that Miocic resorted to a crude eye-poke in the third round, and his detractors will forever point to that indiscretion as proof of the fact that he is not a GOAT. Do not listen to them. Miocic showed all his experience and nous in adjusting his tactics throughout this fight. We could be in for a treat as well, if Jon Jones finally comes through on his tease of moving up to heavyweight from light heavyweight anytime soon. At the same time, Francis Ngannou will want a rematch with Miocic as soon as possible. Thus, it is entirely likely that Miocic will have a run of fights against Ngannou and then Jones, to follow his double header against Cormier. Imagine if he manages to win those two matches as well. Nobody else will be able to hold a candle to the American, and every other MMA heavyweight fighter, past or present, would only be fighting over second place in the all-time rankings.
Stipe Miocic’s achievements in the octagon have made a watertight case to be the greatest heavyweight mixed-martial-arts performer ever, and if he faces off some of the expected opponents later this year and beats them, there can never be any debate about it either.