Daniel Cormier: Stipe Miocic, not Fedor Emelianenko, greatest MMA heavyweight of all time
Daniel Cormier hails Fedor Emelianenko as a heavyweight great, but he’s not No. 1.
Emelianenko (40-6 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) retired this past Saturday after a first-round knockout loss to heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in the Bellator 290 headliner, marking the end of a legendary 23-year professional career that included stints in Pride, Strikeforce and Bellator.
“The Last Emperor” is considered by many to be the greatest heavyweight of all time, although UFC president Dana White thinks said that can’t be since he never competed in the UFC. Emelianenko started his career 31-1-1, a run until 2009 that included wins over former and eventual UFC heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski, Mark Coleman, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Kevin Randleman, and Tim Sylvia.
Still, Cormier believes that former foe Stipe Miocic (20-4 MMA, 14-4 UFC) had a better resume. Miocic holds the UFC heavyweight record for consecutive title defenses at three, which consisted of wins over Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos and Francis Ngannou after claiming the belt from Fabricio Werdum in May 2016.
“I don’t believe (Fedor’s) the greatest heavyweight of all time,” Cormier said on his ESPN show “DC & RC.” “I think that belongs to Stipe Miocic, but only because Cain Velasquez was injured so much. I think in terms of skill, there’s no one that ever matched Cain Velasquez at heavyweight.
“But I believe that Stipe Miocic’s title defenses and the long reign that he had at the top of the division puts him atop. But Fedor is in the top five, and I don’t think that’s anything to be ashamed of.”
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In a video he posted on his YouTube channel in October 2021, Cormier previously said he considered Emelianenko the greatest heavyweight of all time.
Cormier himself is on many people’s heavyweight GOAT list. The former UFC dual champion was involved in a historic trilogy with Miocic, where Cormier dethroned him to capture the heavyweight title. But Miocic exacted his revenge in the rematch and closed off the trilogy with a second consecutive victory, which marked Cormier’s final fight in 2020.
Miocic hasn’t competed in almost two years, when he lost the title to Ngannou in a rematch at UFC 260.