Daniel Cormier says he has 'loved every minute' as he thanks fans and UFC chief Dana White in emotional retirement post

DANIEL CORMIER has confirmed his retirement in an emotional statement and insisted he “loved every minute” of his career.

The MMA legend lost to rival Stipe Miocic in their trilogy fight for the heavyweight title at UFC 252 on Saturday.

The 41-year-old, who was rushed to hospital afterwards after being blinded by an eye poke that was unseen by the referee in the third round, appeared to call it quits following his loss via unanimous decision.

Now he has backed that up with a lengthy Instagram post thanking everyone who has helped him to become an octagon icon.

The two-weight world champ wrote on Instagram: "Thank you all for the love and support. Not what I wanted or expected but it is what it is.

“Congrats to [Stipe Miocic] on a fantastic fight, was an honor and pleasure to share the octagon with you for 50 minutes.

“Boy did we give 'em a show everytime.

“To my team: I love you all to death, you've made so many sacrifices. I hope I made you guys proud.

Thank you all for the love and support. Not what I wanted or expected but it is what it is. Congrats to @stipemiocic on a fantastic fight, was an honor and pleasure to share the octagon with you for 50 minutes. Boy did we give ‘em a show everytime. To my team: I love you all to death, you’ve made so many sacrifices. I hope I made you guys proud. Salina and the kids: thank you for being my motivation. To all the fans: I love you so much. You guys push me to try and be great. To @danawhite and the @ufc: I have loved every minute. Thank you for giving me the opportunity. Been a helluva ride, huh?

A post shared byDaniel "DC" Cormier (@dc_mma) on

“Salina and the kids: thank you for being my motivation.

“To all the fans: I love you so much. You guys push me to try and be great.

“To Dana White and the UFC: I have loved every minute. 

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity. Been a helluva ride, huh?”

DC suffered a torn cornea during his final battle.

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Afterwards, ref Marc Goddard revealed he apologised to the star and his team for mistakenly believing it was a punch.

The Brit wrote on Twitter: “I practice what I preach & as a man I stand tall & head on. If you accept plaudits then you must with mistakes too, that’s proof that you are listening, honest & implore improvement. Rough with the smooth, acceptance & ownership.

“Immediately after the fight when seeing the replay I apologised to Daniel Cormier & his team & I do so publicly & unreservedly for missing what I shouldn’t have – but I cannot call what I do not see.

“I don’t have replays & multiple angles, it’s a one shot take in real time. I cannot convey just how much I have both lived and loved this sport for the past 20 years. I truly appreciate all who understand.”

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