Daniel Cormier And Khabib Nurmagomedov Inducted Into UFC Hall Of Fame, Cormier Admits To Using Trick At UFC 210
UFC officially inducted former titleholders Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov nto it’s hall of fame this Thursday.
Both fighters were in attendance at T-Mobile Arena, where the ceremony was held.
Cormier, 43, is a former two-weight champion in the UFC, while Nurmagomedov, 33, is the former lightweight champion who retired with a 29-0 record.
Cormier and Nurmagomedov were known for their long standing friendship. Both stars announced their retirement in 2020.
“Me and Khabib going in together, it’s just a tremendous night,” Cormier said. “This means everything to me.”
During his UFC career, Cormier (19-3) was involved in one of the biggest rivalries in MMA history. This was with former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and although he failed to defeat Jones on two separate occasions, in 2015 and 2017, Cormier would go on to win the 205-pound championship in 2015. He later became UFC’s heavyweight champion in 2018.
Nurmagomedov (29-0) is considered by some to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time. He had a major rivalry with superstar Conor McGregor. The two fought at UFC 229 in October 2018, where Nurmagomedov submitted McGregor in the fourth round of that title bout. He retired in 2020 shortly after the death of his father, Abdulmanap, even though he was still considered to be in his prime.
“Ten years ago, my mind was completely different,” Nurmagomedov said. “‘I’m going to be champion, I’m going to be rich, buy everything. But last two years, everything that happened, my mind changed. The way I was thinking changed. My father is not with me, and it’s very hard time to stand here and talk about him. It’s very emotional for me.”
Cormier also used his speech to make a confession about a trick he used back at UFC 210. At this event, Cormier stepped on the scale at 206.2 pounds, but he miraculously hit the 205-pound limit upon his second try just a few minutes later.
This incident became known as “Towelgate”, and Cormier has always stated that he did not cheat when he recorded his official weight for the second time for his title fight against Anthony Johnson.
However, he has finally made it clear what happened that night, over five years later.
“Guys, I want to tell you something, because I think right now is the time to be completely transparent,” Cormier said. “I think I may have grabbed the towel in Buffalo.
“I walked back 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 to get me back in the tub. I said, ‘No way, this s—- over.’ She told me, Daniel, just take a hot bath. I go, ‘It’s not that simple.’”
That was when Cormier’s nutritionist, Dan Leith, reminded him of a few old tricks.
“He goes, ‘DC, do you remember the old wrestling trick?,’” Cormier continued. “I said, can you stand behind me? Because there’s two. You can put your hands behind you and the person can lift you up. He said no, it’s the towel one.
“But do you understand the level of ridiculousness that has to happen in order for that to work? I looked down and could not believe my luck. I am a lucky guy. Even when I would lose, somehow the belt would just come back to me. I was like, I’m a lucky guy. So, I look down, and the commissioner’s down on the floor looking at the scale. There’s a second lady. I look down, and she’s right next to him, so I grab the towel like, ‘S—, we home free!’”
With that, Cormier ended his speech saying, “Rumble, I’m sorry, my guy.”