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ANAHEIM, Calif. – Daniel Cormier knows himself well enough that making a decision about his fighting future in the immediate aftermath of dropping the heavyweight title is not the right approach.
Cormier (22-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) suffered the first heavyweight loss of his MMA career Saturday when he was knocked out by Stipe Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) in the fourth round of their title rematch at UFC 241 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Naturally, Cormier was disappointed and emotional about the result. He originally planned on retiring from the sport at 40, but extended his timeline after an injury and surgery. He even teased walking away in the lead-up to UFC 241, but the idea was to go out on a high. He didn’t expect to lose to Miocic, and now he said he must take the appropriate amount time to decide what the future holds.
“A lot of times, we base decisions in emotions,” Cormier told reporters, including MMA Junkie, post-fight at UFC 241. “I don’t want to be that guy. I’m going to go back and talk to (my wife) Salina and talk to my coaches and we’ll figure out what’s next.”
What makes the loss even more difficult to digest is that Cormier was doing well prior to being finished. He was up on all three scorecards and was a little more than one round away from defending the belt.
Miocic made key adjustments to his strategy, though, and managed to find a home for the knockout. Cormier admits he strayed further from the game plan as the fight wore on, and ultimately it cost him dearly.
“I felt like I was doing pretty good,” Cormier said. “Then he landed that shot – in the fourth round he landed those good body punches, then that shot I didn’t see and he got the finish. He did a good job.
“I kind of took the pressure off a little bit. I don’t know why. Maybe try to treat and recover for the fifth round because he wasn’t going anywhere. I don’t know what the reasoning behind it was. But obviously it was a mistake.”
Cormier has never tried to hide his level of competitiveness when it comes to his athletic career. He’s lost before in MMA, but the circumstances around this one were different. He said it’s a hard moment to accept, especially because of how it went down.
“Losing is just terrible for me,” Cormier said. “I’m a competitive guy and just losing any type of fight is terrible. Being finished, to me it’s just insane.”
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