Grading every heavyweight champion in UFC history

The heavyweight division is in a bit of a stalemate as fans wait for the promotion to announce what it will do with Jon Jones, Stipe Miocic and Tom Aspinall.
Jul 7, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) celebrates beating Stipe Miocic (red
Jul 7, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Daniel Cormier (blue gloves) celebrates beating Stipe Miocic (red / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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Daniel Cormier (2018)

Grade: B-

Given the fact that it took Jon Jones three years to make his move to heavyweight, what Cormier did in 2018 to claim double champ status against the greatest in division history is much more impressive than it was in the moment.

If this included his light heavyweight career, Cormier would be a certified A-listed champion. Even at heavyweight, Cormier made history as the first fighter to become a double champion in the heavyweight division, which does positively affect his grade. But given the way his UFC heavyweight career ended, an equivalent score is not warranted.

The backbone of Cormier's heavyweight title reign lies in his ability to achieve what many of the division's best failed to do: dethrone Miocic. Cormier also added a title defense to his legacy, a near-flawless performance against the UFC knockout record holder Derrick Lewis, fresh off an inspiring win over Alexander Volkov.

And while those two victories are more than what most heavyweights have done in their careers, Cormier's following performances put a sour end to his decorated career.

After beating Lewis, Cormier would rematch Miocic and get the best of the former champion once more for the majority of the fight before a series of body shots would put him down and out. Cormier was given the opportunity to win the belt back in the final fight of his career but was bested in a more convincing fashion, ending with a 2-2 championship record at heavyweight.

As one of the best to ever do it, Cormier's mere status as a former heavyweight champion is enough to put his career on a pedestal. But unfortunately, his timing was off-centered, attempting to move up at the end of his career against the greatest heavyweight in promotional history.