Daniel Cormier, a former heavyweight champion, recently praised Conor McGregor for the positive influence he has had on his rivals’ careers in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). With the 10-year anniversary of McGregor’s UFC debut fast approaching, Cormier took the opportunity to reflect on the impressive career of “The Notorious.”
While acknowledging the record-setting numbers McGregor has drawn as a star, Cormier also highlighted the impact McGregor has had on his opposition, particularly after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier. Speaking on his ESPN show “DC & RC,” Cormier expressed his gratitude for what McGregor has done for his friends and fellow fighters.
“He has elevated two of my best friends,” Cormier said. “Two of the guys that I love, that I appreciate in this sport more than anyone. He has elevated Khabib to a megastar, and he has elevated Dustin Poirier to a level of stardom that Dustin never could’ve imagined getting before. So not only does he help himself, he helps the guys that he shares the octagon with – especially the ones that can beat him.”
Cormier went on to share his favorite McGregor moment: the 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in December 2015, which secured McGregor the featherweight title. This victory, in Cormier’s opinion, changed McGregor’s life and solidified his place in the MMA world.
“In the Aldo fight, for all we knew about Jose Aldo, the greatness, how annoyed he was with Conor McGregor – we thought he was going to punish the brash Irishman,” Cormier recounted. “And then he knocked him out in 14 (13) seconds and the world was turned on its axis, and the world really became his on that night. On that night, it was Conor McGregor’s world.”
McGregor is slated to make a highly anticipated return to the octagon later this year, facing off against Michael Chandler. The two fighters recently spent eight weeks together coaching the “Ultimate Fighter 31.” Fans eagerly await McGregor’s return and the continued impact he will have on the sport and the careers of those around him.