ESPN Names UFC Two-Division Champ Daniel Cormier No. 3 Most Dominant Athlete for 2018

By: Tristen Critchfield
Dec 11, 2018

Daniel Cormier, who became a simultaneous two-division champion this past year, was named as by ESPN as the third most dominant athlete of 2018.

ESPN recently released its “Dominant 20” list, which was topped by gymnast Simone Biles (No. 1) and marathoner Eliud Kipchoge (No. 2). Athletes were graded by “the strongest performance measures available in their sport…including timed scores, earnings and whenever possible, advanced metrics.” Then the athletes were compared to the best in their respective sport each year since 1998 to establish a “common baseline.”

Cormier was given a dominance rating of 2.273, which means he was 2.273 standard deviations better than the typical top-four performer in MMA since 1998. Here’s what ESPN had to say about Cormier, who checked in ahead of superstars such as LeBron James, Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes and Mike Trout:

Cormier has vowed to retire after he turns 40 in March, and if he's a man of his word, he'll have spent his final full calendar year in the UFC making history -- and making it look easy. Handily claiming the light heavyweight title? Check. Becoming a simultaneous UFC belt-holder via first-round knockout against highly decorated heavyweight Stipe Miocic? Double check. (And double champ.) Landing 19 significant strikes to Derrick Lewis' four while defending titles in multiple weight classes, the first champion to ever do so? Check, check, check.

Cormier will officially be stripped of the light heavyweight crown when Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson square off in the UFC 232 headliner on Dec. 29. He has targeted a showdown with Brock Lesnar for his final career fight in the first quarter of 2019, although UFC president Dana White believes “DC” has at least three bouts left in him.

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