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Daniel Cormier was defeated and clearly frustrated.

Following his heavyweight title-fight loss to Stipe Miocic in their trilogy at UFC 252, Cormier (22-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) confirmed his retirement. He said going into Saturday’s bout with Miocic (20-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) that he was going to hang up his gloves win or lose. It didn’t go his way, as he dropped a unanimous decision in a competitive third showdown with his rival.

With emotions running high, Cormier spoke on the UFC 252 broadcast in the immediate aftermath of the fight and, despite giving a strong effort, said he’s done.

“It just sucks, being on the losing end of two big fights and trilogies – it’s a very sad position to be in,” Cormier told Joe Rogan in their post-fight interview. “But I will deal with it as I’ve dealt with things in the past. 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’ll be it for me. 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. It is what it is.”

Cormier was transported to a local hospital following his fight with Miocic after suffering a “tear” to his left eye, according to Jon Anik on the ESPN+ post-show. Cormier had been hit in the first three rounds, but a third-round poke to his left eye caused damage. He told his corner between rounds that he couldn’t see and confirmed afterward that he was seriously compromised.

“I mean, look at my eye,” Cormier said. “I couldn’t even (expletive) 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 Marc (Goddard) he poked me, but he said he thought it was a punch. But 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. Whatever. It is what it is.”

Outside of the eye poke, Cormier said he felt relatively good about the fight. He was knocked down and nearly finished in the third, but he managed to compose himself and keep it close down the stretch.

Cormier said there were some things about Miocic’s approach that caught him off guard, and ultimately his fairy tale career ending didn’t come to fruition.

“It wasn’t much different,” Cormier said of the fight compared to past encounters. “I mean, look – I can’t see. So he did a good job. 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. … I felt like we were going pretty good. But when he would get those clinch positions, he was going double underhooks, which is something he didn’t do in the first two fights. Usually, we were going over-under, and I was able to get away, but tonight he went two under, so it gave me some trouble.”



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