by Dane McGuire
At UFC 210, as former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier defended his light heavyweight title for the second time opposite Anthony Johnson.
Cormier struggled with the pre-fight weight cut, being over the 205-pound limit his first attempt. Cormier then stripped and stood covered by a towel, then making the requirement.
He said during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech during UFC’s International Fight Week:
“Guys, I want to tell you something because I feel like right now is the time to be completely transparent. I think I may have grabbed the towel in Buffalo.
I walked to the back after missing weight by 1.2 pounds. It was 1.2. I tried to give it up, guys. Trust me, I tried to give it up. I had a pound to lose. They even went and called my wife to try and get me back in the tub. I said no way, this s*** is over. She told me ‘Daniel, just take a hot bath.’ I go, it’s not that simple.
I walk back, [my coach] he goes ‘DC, do you remember the old wrestling trick?’ I said, can you stand behind me? Because there’s two — you can put your hands behind you and your person can lift you up. He said, ‘No, it’s the towel one.’”
The overseeing Commission didn’t catch Cormier’s towel grab, which allowed him to make title fight weight.
“Do you understand the level of ridiculousness that has to happen in order for that to work?” Cormier said. “I looked down and I could not believe my luck. I am a lucky guy. Even when I would lose, the belt would just somehow come back to me. I was like, I’m a lucky guy.
“So I look down and the commissioner’s on the floor looking at the scale. There’s a second lady and I look down — she’s right next to him, so I grab the towel and I’m like, ‘S*** we’re home free.’ [Marc] Ratner, I know I would never get you like that, but in New York, first time, you know what it is. It is what it is.”
Cormier then apologized to Johnson “‘Rumble,’ I’m sorry my guy,” Cormier said.
Johnson lost the fight by way of rear naked choke in the second round. Cormier lost a trilogy fight by unanimous decision at UFC 252 for the heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic and then announced his retirement from the sport.