01 Jan Daniel Cormier lost vision in left eye of UFC 252 trilogy with Stipe Miocic: ‘I couldn’t see the rest of the fight’
Former two-division champion Daniel Cormier was transported to an area hospital after his trilogy loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 252, reporting a total loss of vision in his left eye after an accidental poke from Miocic at the end of the third round.
“F*ck, look at my eye,” Cormier told UFC commentator Joe Rogan immediately after the title fight, which headlined Saturday’s pay-per-view event at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. “I couldn’t even f*cking – I couldn’t see the rest of the fight. I can’t see anything out of my left eye. It’s black. It is what it is. It doesn’t matter.
“I told [referee] Marc [Goddard] that he poked me, but he said it was a punch. But then after the fight, he said, ‘Yeah, I saw it on the replay.’ I just can’t see out of my left eye. It doesn’t matter, though. It is what it is.”
Although clearly heartbroken, Cormier did not lose control of his emotions as with previous high-profile losses. The 41-year-old fighter gave a level-headed assessment of where he went wrong over five rounds and how Miocic beat him a second time.
The champ’s work in close caught Cormier off guard and made it difficult to break through as the fight went on.
“He was able to clinch and hold me against the side of the octagon for long periods of time, and I believe that separated those close rounds,” he said. “He did a good job of not overextending himself. The first round, he overextended himself and I was able to get to his leg, easy takedown, but he did a good job of not overextending himself and not giving me positions to go get the leg.”
Still, the technical details were overshadowed by the implication of Cormier’s loss, and the circumstances that led to it. The former Olympian and American Kickboxing Academy captain declared Saturday would be his final fight, win or lose. Yet the outcome led to a question about whether he would hold fast to his decision.
Cormier had broached the possibility of a second loss to a competitive octagon rival after a pair of losses to current light heavyweight champ Jon Jones. He appeared to be comfortable with his path and cited others who’d stuck around far too long. A variety of opportunities outside of the octagon made the choice much easier.
Assessing his worst-case scenario, Cormier appeared to take things in stride.
“It just sucks,” he said. “Being on the losing end of two big fights and trilogies is a very sad position to be in, but I will deal with it as I’ve dealt with things in the past.”
Cormier didn’t explicitly say he was retired, but he indicated that unless an unlikely scenario arose, he wouldn’t return to the octagon.
“I’m not interested in fighting for anything but titles, and I don’t imagine there’s going to be a title in the future, so that will be it for me,” he said. “I’ve had a long run, it’s been great. I just fought my last fight for a heavyweight championship, and it was a pretty good fight.”
Check out the interview below.