Though he may never fully escape the shadow of archrival Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier now has his own moment in the sun to which he can point.
Already in possession of the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title, the American Kickboxing Academy ace laid claim to the undisputed heavyweight crown with a first-round knockout of Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 on July 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The end came 4:33 into Round 1, as Cormier joined Conor McGregor as the only fighters in UFC history to hold championships in two weight classes simultaneously. The landmark win moved “DC” all the way to the heavyweight penthouse in the latest Sherdog.com divisional rankings.
Some of Cormier’s contemporaries did not fare quite as well. Francis Ngannou, who held down the No. 2 spot in the heavyweight division prior to UFC 226, lost a unanimous decision to Derrick Lewis in one of the worst fights in the promotion’s history. Neither Ngannou nor Lewis seemed willing to engage in their co-main event, as they circled one another for 15 forgettable minutes and combined to land just 31 total strikes. UFC President Dana White called it an “abomination.” Nevertheless, the previously 10th-ranked Lewis climbs to the No. 5 position, while Ngannou tumbles four spots to No. 6.
Other notable moves saw the undefeated Israel Adesanya join our list of contenders at 185 pounds following his five-round rout of Brad Tavares at “The Ultimate Fighter 27” Finale and Anthony Pettis return to the Top 10 at lightweight after his second-round submission of Michael Chiesa at UFC 226. Meanwhile, Herica Tiburcio bowed out of the women’s atomweight rankings. The former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder has not competed since May 2017 and announced her pregnancy in September. Tiburcio’s exit clears the way for Finland’s Minna Grusander to debut at No. 10 at 105 pounds.
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