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Daniel Cormier enters retirement on a frustrating defeat.
Following his heavyweight title-fight loss to Stipe Miocic in their trilogy at UFC 252, Cormier (22-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) confirmed his retirement. Cormier explains that his bout with Miocic (20-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) was set to be his last, regardless of the outcome. Cormier came out behind, on a unanimous decision defeat after three competitive rounds against Miocic.
Cormier spoke about his retirement immediately after the fight on the UFC 252 broadcast.
“It just sucks, being on the losing end of two big fights and trilogies – it’s a very sad position to be in,” Cormier told Joe Rogan in their post-fight interview. “But I will deal with it as I’ve dealt with things in the past. I’m not interested in fighting for anything but titles, and I don’t imagine there’s going to be a title in the future. So that’ll be it for me. I’ve had a long run. It’s been great. I just fought my last fight for a heavyweight championship, and it was a pretty good fight. It is what it is.”
Cormier was transported to a local hospital following his fight with Miocic after suffering a torn cornea on his left eye. Cormier had taken a number of shots to the face, but a third-round poke to his left eye was the source of damage. He told his corner between rounds that he couldn’t see and confirmed afterward that he was seriously compromised.
“I mean, look at my eye,” Cormier said. “I couldn’t even (expletive) see the rest of the fight. I can’t see anything out of my left eye. It’s black. It is what it is. It doesn’t matter. I told Marc (Goddard) he poked me, but he said he thought it was a punch. But after the fight he said, ‘Yeah, I saw it on the replay.’ I just can’t see out of my left eye. It doesn’t matter, though. Whatever. It is what it is.”
Beyond the eye poke, Cormier felt good. He was backed up and knocked down in the third round, but managed to power through and fight through the duration of the round.
Cormier said he was caught off-guard by some aspects of Miocic's approach, which got the best of him. Ultimately, his fairy tale career ending didn’t come to fruition.
“It wasn’t much different,” Cormier said of the fight compared to past encounters. “I mean, look – I can’t see. So he did a good job. He was able to clinch and hold me against the side of the octagon for long periods of time, and I believe that separated those close rounds. … I felt like we were going pretty good. But when he would get those clinch positions, he was going double underhooks, which is something he didn’t do in the first two fights. Usually, we were going over-under, and I was able to get away, but tonight he went two under, so it gave me some trouble.”
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