(CNN) — To UFC’s Daniel Cormier, the road to the top of sport has never been a simple one.
His father, Joseph, was shot and killed on Thanksgiving Day if Cormier was merely seven-years-old. Then, in 2003, his three-month-old daughter was killed in a car collision.
“I’m just hoping to actually honor the folks whom I’ve dropped,” Cormier informed CNN Sport’s Patrick Snell, before his rematch with Stipe Miocic in UFC 241 in Anaheim this weekend once the 40-year-old American will defend his heavyweight title for the next time.
“I do not let those horrifying things break me. I attempt to use whatever as inspiration to try to generate a way for people, provide a lifetime for my children, my family, my wife, my parents.”
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Devastating lows
A two-time UFC belt holder, Cormier is now ranked as the very ideal pound-for-pound fighter in the game.
He says that the deaths of his dad and daughter have been crucial to giving him a resilient perspective in life.
“There were so many things I have been able to do for my loved ones because I did not give up,” Cormier said. “I try to carry my entire family in my back. I try to be strong for everyone.
“Life can seem unfair but if it appears unfair, you’ve got to try to twist it into a way that permits you to use it as inspiration. When you lose somebody or move through the items that I’ve gone professionally, it’s simple to say,’this isn’t fair’ and’I am not going to get it ‘ because when is life ever fair.
“All I could do is try to use it to propel me something bigger and better”
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The best of rivalries
In case the battle against Miocic is quite much on Cormier’s mind, so too is his competition with Jon Jones, a fighter that he inflicted the only UFC defeat on the 40-year-old nearly five years back.
In their rematch in UFC 214, Cormier was pumped out by his compatriot in a title shield, just to be viewed as winner after Jones was suspended for testing positive for a banned substance prior to the fight.
But although speculation over a third bout between the group has been rife since, the heartbreak of the previous battle means Cormier is hesitant to leap back into the ring using Jones.
“I haven’t decided if I want this rematch yet,” Cormier said. “He wants the fight because we make the most money when we struggle but I have not decided if I wish to help him out however.
“It was horrible because after dropping in the way that I didit was time for me to proceed and figure out something. So, to make back that was just dreadful.
“I was really in Hawaii in vacation with my family and Dana White phoned me and told me and I was just like’you have ta be kidding me?’
“It almost made me cry as I could not think I was planning to be dragged back to that whirlwind of negativity.”
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A tougher opponent
Having beaten Miocic at UFC 226 to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship, Cormier successfully defended it against Derrick Lewis out time.
A part-time fighter out of Ohio who also functions as a firefighter, Miocic has not returned into the Octagon because that defeat, but Cormier anticipates a stiffer test when they confront yet again.
“I feel that time Stipe can do a better job of attempting to battle long, actually stay at range rather than engaging me so close,” said Cormier.
“Last time that he was the larger guy, so that he came in alongside me a lot. I think this time, he’ll possibly fight backwards a bit, try to fight from his jab a tiny bit longer.
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“He has a genuine long advantage concerning reach , so he’ll try to utilize it in this battle.
“I know he will change several points, but I do expect a better fighter at the Octagon on Saturday.”

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