Here’s To Hoping

 

By all accounts, the trilogy of Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic delivered. The post mortem is primarily about the eye poke Miocic landed and the effect it may or may not have had on the fight. I think it had an impact on the fight, the same way I think eye pokes had an impact on the first two fights. It’s an unfortunate, costly occurrence we see often and It’s getting to the point where the authorities in this sport will have to start making decisions. Who knows what it’ll take before we finally get a solution for this problem, whether its a redesign of the gloves or very simply a strict approach to giving one point deduction for the infraction. Some sort of action needs to be taken.

For now, the eye poke has marred what would otherwise have been a very well-received heavyweight title fight. D.C looked as good as he ever has, he was aggressive and went for the kill right from the opening bell. He swung heavy and didn’t take a back step once. Miocic also didn’t disappoint, he was able to wear all D.C. threw very well, was also going for the kill, and kept a high output for all five rounds. What more could you ask for?

Going into this fight I talked about how whether D.C. wins or loses, it doesn’t have much bearing on how I view his career as a whole. His greatness has already been cemented, and while closing things out with a Heavyweight championship title wrapped around his waist would have been incredible. It doesn’t make his career any less impressive or worth celebrating now that he has gone out on a loss. The shame with the controversy is not just the injury Cormier sustained, but the effect it has on how this trilogy is viewed.

Fans, media, and the promotion are quick to get caught up in the storyline and the out of the cage goings-on, and completely overlook the fact that this trilogy gave us three exhilarating fights with crazy finishes. I fully understand how the stories of the fighters are important and how relevant it is to these contests. But a negative byproduct of being so invested in the athlete’s lives is that they aren’t getting the credit they deserve for the performances. Which is the very core of what this whole thing is all about.

How often do we get to see a Heavyweight title fight go give rounds with all-out action? Has it ever happened? Both Miocic and Cormier just did something amazing, and the very thing they did that was so incredible sits on the back burner because of the narrative taking precedence over everything else. The fact that D.C. whizzed several kill shots just inches away from Miocic’s chin ought to get some attention, the amount of punishment Miocic absorbed only to come forward and blast Cormier with leather should get some shine.

Or how about how when Cormier was sitting on the stool after the third round, he looked done. The look on D.C’s face coming into the fourth round did not instill confidence in fans that he was going to get out of round without the ref saving him. But he showed how big his heart is by staying in the pocket, going forward regardless of how badly hurt he was, and putting on an awesome show for the fans throughout the process.

But instead, it’s all conversations about the story, it’s a damn shame, but was very fun all the same. Credit also needs to go to Miocic for rising to the occasion and earning the win after returning from a lengthy lay off due to having surgery. He is the baddest man in the sport, and the fights for him are only going to get bigger from here. He may not have gotten the attention he deserved in this trilogy, but it’s all going to pay off for him going forward.

Cormier had as successful and decorated of a career as any professional MMA fighter could hope for. He has competed on the biggest stages in the world under the brightest of lights there is, and came out on the other side being considered one of the greatest Heavyweights in MMA history. Selfishly, I’d like to see him continue to compete. He is advanced in age, but the D.C we saw on Saturday night was fast, strong, and aggressive. A step or half step forward on a few of those bombs he threw and we would all be heretoday lamenting his storybook career-ending.

But at the same time, I feel like it’s best that he sticks to his word and exits the sport gracefully. His career may not have come to the conclusion he would have wanted, but he went out looking as good as he ever has. We’ve all been thoroughly entertained throughout his career, and as a spectator, I’m more than satisfied with what he has given us. Here’s to hoping Cormier is satisfied as well.

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