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A dejected Cormier said during the UFC 241 post-event news conference that the biggest letdown of his losing effort was ignoring his coaches’ advice to wrestle more.
“They were begging me to wrestle, and that’s probably the most disappointing is I didn’t do what I was training to do, and I feel like I let my coaches down,” Cormier said Saturday night after being knocked.
Cormier said he deviated from the plan because he was doing well on his feet. For the majority of the fight, he outstruck Miocic, beating the champ 199 to 97 in total strikes and 150 to 87 in significant strikes, per the UFC‘s official stats.
“I think when you start finding success and landing things, you just kind of fall in love with it,” Cormier said. “It feels like the (Alexander) Gustafsson fight all over again, when I wrestled a lot in the first round, and the last four rounds I just didn’t.
“They were begging me to do it then, but tonight I actually paid the ultimate price for not listening to my coaches. Usually, I’m pretty good at doing that.
“I was hitting him, and I could see him getting marked up, and I think you fall in love with the visuals of a guy’s face getting marked up.”
In the first fight with Miocic, Cormier was able to finish quickly on his feet. But he shot down the idea of fading after he was unable to do so in the rematch. He said his reduced weight was proof he expected to have a longer, tougher fight.
“I knew he had a good chin,” Cormier said. “I knew it would be different. I anticipated a long fight.”
Cormier praised Miocic for making an adjustment and throwing a combination he didn’t see coming, which led to an improbable fourth-round finish and returned the heavyweight belt to Miocic’s waist.
As he did immediately after the fight, the former two-division champ passed on making any definitive declarations about his future, deferring to his team and family.
“A lot of times we make decisions based on emotions, and I don’t want to be that guy,” Cormier said.
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