Daniel Cormier Beats Stipe Miocic Via 1st-Round Knockout, Wins Heavyweight Title

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07:  Daniel Cormier prepares to face Stipe Miocic in their UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 226 event inside T-Mobile Arena on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Daniel Cormier claimed UFC title No. 2 with a first-round knockout win over Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 226 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to capture the UFC heavyweight championship. 

The fight appeared to be headed toward greatness from the opening salvo. Cormier applied his patented pressure game to the heavyweight champion from the outset, fearlessly closing the distance with jabs, uppercuts and clinching while Miocic fired back counter punches. 

Then DC showcased the power that he has when fighting at heavyweight. 

Breaking away from another clinch, Cormier uncorked a massive overhand right that landed cleanly and put Miocic down to bring an early end to his night. MMA analyst Andreas Hale gave Cormier props for the finish:

Andreas Hale @AndreasHale

Daniel Cormier is the official champ champ of the UFC. Absolutely crushed Stipe Miocic with a disgusting short right hand that put him in a casket.

Cormier is now the second man to hold two UFC titles concurrently, forcing his way into the conversation of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time:

Chamatkar Sandhu @SandhuMMA

#UFC226 Daniel Cormier joins Conor McGregor as the only fighters in UFC history to concurrently hold 2 titles in different weight classes. You may not agree, you may argue against it vehemently but one thing can't be denied and that's DC has been added to the GOAT *conversation*.

An emotional Cormier described the feeling of winning his second championship:

MMAFighting.com @MMAFighting

Cormier: I finally accomplished everything. From crying in this Octagon to becoming UFC heavyweight champion. #UFC226

After that, Cormier and Brock Lesnar had an in-ring confrontation, as Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times detailed:

Lance Pugmire @latimespugmire

Brock Lesnar appears in octagon and pushes Cormier after his first-round #UFC226 knockout of Miocic. "Push me now, you'll go to sleep later," Cormier says.

Cormier spent the first part of his MMA career in the heavyweight division, winning the Strikeforce Grand Prix and then starting off 2-0 when he first made the transition to the UFC. However, this was his first bout in the 265-pound division since 2013, when he defeated Roy Nelson via unanimous decision. 

Now Cormier sits atop the UFC's two biggest divisions with options as to where he's going to go next. 

Steven Muehlhausen of Sporting News reports that Cormier is keen to have a third fight with Jon Jones pending his year-long suspension and a heavyweight bout with Lesnar should the WWE talent be looking to get back into the fight game. 

Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report reported that Lesnar is expected to be the next man up in the division with a targeted date in November:

Jeremy Botter @jeremybotter

Brock Lesnar will fight the winner of tonight’s main event in November at Madison Square Garden for the UFC heavyweight championship, multiple sources confirm.

However, those two huge fights have a deadline. DC intends to be done fighting when his 40th birthday comes around on March 20, 2019. 

"It’s a hard deadline," Cormier said, per Muehlhausen. "I love it. I love that I can go make my family the focus. I've done fighting for almost nine years now. I started when I was about to turn 31. I’m like, 'I know I will be done by 40. I want to see what I can accomplish.' I’ve accomplished a ton."

Now that list of accomplishments includes ending the best run for a champion in the heavyweight division. 

Miocic had set the record with three consecutive title defenses in the organization's land of giants. Miocic's run will still go down as one of the best in the sport, but Cormier's greatness just happened to be better on Saturday night.