Daniel Cormier appeared to be en route to a second win over Stipe Miocic last night at UFC 241, before everything went sideways in a hurry in round four. Well, following the devastating defeat, Cormier admitted he got away from the game plan his coaches wanted him to work, and that doing so, was a massive mistake.
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Cormier slammed Miocic to the mat in round one, and controlled much of the action from the top position. “DC” also landed some hard shots in that frame, and he did so again in rounds two and three. In fact, if you look at the final stats for the bout, Cormier landed 181 significant strikes to Miocic’s 123. Overall, the now former champ outstruck Miocic by a whopping, 230 to 135 margin.
Cormier’s coaches didn’t like what they were seeing
But, although Cormier was winning most of the striking exchanges, Miocic kept coming and firing back. As a result, in between rounds you could hear Cormier’s coaches pleading with him to keep his hands up. In round four, Miocic started digging in nasty hooks to the body of Cormier, and that set up a finishing flurry, which handed the Ohio fighter the heavyweight belt once again.
After the bout, Cormier had this to say about his performance, and the fact he didn’t listen to his coaches (quotes via MMA Fighting):
That was the strategy, Cormier said, while referring to the fact he was supposed to utilize his wrestling more extensively. Thats probably the biggest letdown is how I let my coaches down. They were begging me to wrestle.
Thats probably the most disappointing thing is that I didnt do what I was trained to do. I feel like I let my coaches down.
I think when you start finding success and landing things, you kind of fall in love with it, Cormier said. It feels like the [Alexander] Gustafsson fight all over again when I wrestled a lot in the first round then for the last four rounds I just didnt and they were begging me to do it then.
Tonight I actually paid the ultimate price for not listening to my coaches. Im usually pretty good about doing that.
Yes, you can’t help but wonder how the fight would have unfolded, if Cormier had shot in more for takedowns. Miocic is a great wrestler in his own right, and overall, Cormier went for 1/3 on takedowns. But, “DC” certainly dominated much of round one on account of the slam he scored.
All this aside, now the speculation will continue, as to whether we’ll see Cormier back in the cage for another fight. The 40-year-old legend said he intends to take some time to talk with his family and coaches, about his fighting future.