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Daniel Cormier Successfully Defends UFC Light Heavyweight Title at UFC 220

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Former Oklahoma State Wrestler Daniel Cormier successfully defended his UFC light heavyweight title vs. Volkan Oezdemir last night with a second round TKO. Cormier took Volkan down in the 2nd, trapped his arms, and landed shots until the fight was stopped.

In the last few weeks we’ve covered how impactful Cormier has been on Oklahoma State. He was Kaid Brock’s youth coach and part of the reason Steve Mocco came to Oklahoma State. He has taken Kyle Crutchmer under his wing in Crutchmer’s move to MMA, and is also part of an incredible legacy of OSU wrestlers that have made OSU the premier college in MMA.

Cormier has in many minds cemented himself as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. There’s still a number of MMA fans that struggle to get past his fights with Jon Jones and hold a bit of a grudge against Cormier because of it.

This fight on Saturday seemed different on some level. Almost like “Rocky 4” where Rocky wins over the Russian crowd and they start cheering for him? Cormier seems to have started to win over the MMA crowd, and it appears that people realize how good he is even though he hasn’t beat Jones, who has had some struggles maintaining his title because of failed drug tests.

It’s a bit confusing, but Cormier was actually the reigning light heavyweight champion coming into this fight after he was reinstated last year following a loss to Jones, which was later changed to a no-contest. Because Jones failed a drug test, Cormier got his title back. He said it didn’t feel legit, though.

“I’ve lost twice to Jon Jones, and I came into this fight like I was fighting for a vacant title,” Cormier told reporters. “I fought for a vacant title and I got the job done. So, I’m UFC champion again. I proved that I am worthy of being called champion. But Volkan is on the level. Everybody who makes it to this point is on the level.”

Ultimately Cormier will go down as one of the all-time greats in UFC and is a tremendous representative for Oklahoma State. Thankfully it seems as though others are starting to respect what he’s done and his fan base seems to be growing. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here as it doesn’t look like there are many light heavyweights that can contend with him at this point.

Interestingly he does a lot of commentary for the UFC and it looks as though he’ll have a very successful long term career in that capacity with the company as his career on the fighting side eventually winds down.

 

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