Why DC is the Champion We All Need + Deserve
By: Leigh Dent
So UFC 220 has been and gone, yet may not quite have lived up to its expectations. Many people were left underwhelmed by the main event, citing long periods of little action, and Francis Ngannou (unsurprising to some) tiring at an alarming rate. Many people have been quick to jump on the hype train that has surrounded Francis' rapid uprising, myself included, yet what last night demonstrated is that he is still a very 'young' fighter, with lots to learn, and gaps to fill in his offense. Regardless of this, I can't wait to see what he takes away from this loss, and I am already excited to see where he goes next.
For me, the highlight of last night's action was undoubtedly the 'return' of Daniel 'DC' Cormier. Walking into the octagon with a metaphorical dark cloud hanging over his head, (yes you, Jon Jones,) Daniel brought it, and brought it hard.
The first 30 seconds for sure, had me on the edge of my seat. Volkan was landing some dangerous shots, but Daniel walked right on through each and every single one, applying the pressure and landing those invaluable takedowns. Again, many people viewed 'No Time' as a force to be reckoned with, a rising star whose time was in fact, now. But it was not to be so, and Daniel cemented his legacy as truly one of the greats. To all of the haters and those who blindly champion Jon Jones, it is worth remembering that besides drug-addled cheats, Cormier is undefeated, and will more than likely retire...undefeated.
My point is that DC stands out for all of the right reasons. A man of such grace, humility and compassion DESERVES to have the belt placed around his waist, and it is this element of the sport that is overlooked. Of course, it is about who fought best, and who displayed the most talent in the octagon. But for me, it is so much more.
Daniel Cormier epitomises the word 'champion,' both in and out of the octagon. A true gentleman through and through, he never allows himself to sink the low levels of his counterparts. Even the handshake between the two at the start of the fight moved me. Overcoming adversity in his personal life, Cormier never fails to be a beacon of positivity, and his 'trash talk' is often light-hearted, and at times, HILARIOUS- Note- Ted Bundy. Jon Jones got one thing right, when he claimed to wish to be a little bit more like DC.
Daniel, you proved yourself once again, but as far as I'm concerned, you never had a thing to prove.