(CNN) — For UFC’s Daniel Cormier, the road to the top of game hasn’t been an easy one.
His father, Joseph, was captured and killed on Thanksgiving Day when Cormier was merely seven-years-old. Subsequently in 2003, his daughter was murdered in a car collision.
“I am just hoping to actually honor the folks that I’ve dropped,” Cormier told CNN Sport’s Patrick Snell, ahead of his rematch with Stipe Miocic in UFC 241 at Anaheim this weekend once the 40-year-old American will defend his heavyweight title for the next moment.
“I don’t let those horrifying things break me. I try to use whatever as inspiration to attempt and generate a way for individuals, provide a life for my children, my family, my spouse, my parents.”
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Devastating lows
A two-time UFC belt holder, Cormier is currently rated as the ideal pound-for-pound fighter in the game.
He states the deaths of his dad and daughter are key to giving him a resilient perspective in life.
“There were so many things I have been able to do to my loved ones because I didn’t quit,” Cormier said. “I try to carry my whole family in my back. I strive to be strong for everybody.
“Life can seem unjust but if it appears unfair, you have got to try to twist it into a way which permits you to use it as motivation. When you drop somebody or move through the items that I’ve gone through professionally, it’s easy to say,’this isn’t honest’ and’I’m not going to do it ‘ because if is life ever fair.
“All I could do is attempt to use it to propel me onto something better and bigger .”
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The very best of rivalries
In case the fight against Miocic is very far on Cormier’s head, so too is his competition with Jon Jones, a fighter that imposed the sole UFC defeat on the 40-year-old almost five years back.
In their rematch at UFC 214, Cormier was knocked out with his compatriot during a title shield, just to be viewed as winner after Jones was suspended for testing positive for a prohibited substance prior to the struggle.
But although speculation on a third bout between the pair was rife since, the heartbreak of the preceding battle means Cormier is hesitant to leap back into the ring using Jones.
“I have not decided if I want this rematch however,” Cormier said. “He wants the struggle because we make the most money when we fight but I haven’t decided if I want to help him out yet.
“It was dreadful because after dropping in the way that I did, it was time for me to proceed and figure out something else. So, to make that back was simply horrifying.
“I was actually in Hawaii in vacation with my family and Dana White phoned me and informed me about that and I was like’you gotta be kidding me’
“It nearly made me cry because I couldn’t think I was planning to be dragged back into this whirlwind of negativity”
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A harder competitor
Having beaten Miocic at UFC 226 to acquire the UFC Heavyweight Championship, Cormier successfully defended it against Derrick Lewis last time out.
A part time fighter from Ohio who also works as a firefighter, Miocic hasn’t returned into the Octagon because this defeat, but Cormier expects a stiffer test when they face off yet again.
“I think that time Stipe will do a better job of attempting to fight long, actually stay at scope rather than engaging me so close,” said Cormier.
“Last time he had been the larger man, so that he came in alongside me a lot. I think this time, he’ll maybe fight backward just a little bit, try to fight off of his jab just a tiny bit longer.
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“He has a genuine long advantage concerning reach , so he will attempt to use it in this fight.
“I know that he will change a few items, but I really do expect a much better fighter in the Octagon on Saturday.”

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