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Daniel Cormier hopes to lift up Gilroy community with win at UFC 241

Daniel Cormier hopes to lift up Gilroy community with win at UFC 241

When Daniel Cormier enters the Octagon on Saturday to face Stipe Miocic in their much-anticipated rematch at UFC 241, he'll be fighting for more than just his chance to retain the heavyweight belt.

Cormier, who trains at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, also is the wrestling coach at Gilroy High School. Tragedy recently hit the Gilroy community when a gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28, killing four people and wounding 13 others.

So Cormier not only will be fighting for the belt Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, but also to represent his community.

"With my attachment to the community, and being the guy that's probably -- you know I talk about all the fighters from the city, but I'm the guy at the forefront as the champion," Cormier told NBC Sports Bay Area. "The opportunity to represent the community on such a massive stage is a huge honor for me. It hasn't been long since the shooting happened, and to be in such a big spot and to carry the flag of the town of Gilroy means a ton to me. 

"People will be watching. They will be rooting and cheering. I know that on Saturday, I'm going to show and prove how strong people from Gilroy are and make them proud."

[RELATED: Cormier offers advice to McGregor after bar punch video]

Cormier defeated Miocic via first-round knockout at UFC 226 last July,

He hopes to lift a belt and a community Saturday with another victory over Miocic on Saturday.

Daniel Cormier offers advice to Conor McGregor after bar punch video

Daniel Cormier offers advice to Conor McGregor after bar punch video

The eyes of the UFC world are locked on UFC 241 and Daniel Cormier's rematch with Stipe Miocic.

Cormier vs. Miocic 2 will take place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, but as is commonplace in UFC, Conor McGregor stole the spotlight Thursday.

TMZ published a video of McGregor punching an elderly man in the head at a Dublin bar back on April 6. 

McGregor reportedly was buying shots of his Proper 12 whiskey for the bar patrons, and the man refused twice, leading to the strike. 

As often happens when McGregor makes news, Cormier was asked about his reaction to the incident. Cormier, who trains at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, offered his support and some advice to the UFC megastar. 

"Part of me doesn't even want to watch it, you know," Cormier told NBC Sports Bay Area. "I don't want to see a kid in Conor, he just has the world at his fingertips -- if this is true, I think it's time for the people in his life that really love him and care for him to just sit him down and have a conversation. Again, there's been a number of occasions where things seem to be going in the wrong direction. Sit him down and just kind of reel him in.

"Conor is a great guy," Cormier continued. "I spent time with him, he's a really, really good guy. He just needs to remember, it's not just him anymore. It's his kids, his wife and a legion of people that look up to him."

UFC president Dana White told TMZ that a lot of people get punched in Irish bars all the time, but McGregor still can't go around punching people.

[RELATED: Cormier hopes to lift up Gilroy community with UFC 241 win]

There has been no legal action yet, and time will tell if the UFC and White take action.

As for Cormier, he beat Miocic via first-round knockout at UFC 226 last July and now hopes to defend his title in Anaheim.

UFC Fight Night Sacramento: Performance of the Night bonuses handed out

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USATSI

UFC Fight Night Sacramento: Performance of the Night bonuses handed out

History was made Saturday at Golden 1 Center. UFC Fight Night Sacramento now holds the record for the shortest amount of combined fight time in a main and co-main event. 

But only one of those winners, Urijah Faber, earned a $50,000 bonus. Four fighters -- Faber, Josh Emmett, Andre Fili and Jonathan Martinez -- received the $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus. Germaine de Randamie, who handed Aspen Ladd her first loss with a 16-second knockout, did not receive the bonus. 

Faber came out of retirement and put on a show for the home crowd. "The California Kid" knocked out Ricky Simon in 46 seconds, and quickly went home to celebrate with his daughter, Cali. 

Emmett, another member of Team Alpha Male fighting out of Sacramento, gave the crowd plenty to cheer about before Faber entered the octagon. The 34-year-old caught Mirsad Bektic with a right jab and knocked him out in the final minute of the first round.

Fili was the feel-good story of the night. Another Team Alpha Male fighter to go home victorious had someone special watching him in the crowd. The Sacramento native's father had been in prison for 17 years, and the first time he saw his son since, Fili knocked out Sheymon Moraes in the first round.

[RELATED: UFC Fight Night Sacramento: Results, video highlights]

Martinez handed Team Alpha Male, which went 4-2 on the night, their first loss of the event. In the third round, he caught Pingyuan Liu with a violent knee to his head to knock him out. 

Saturday night was jam-packed out memorable moments in Sacramento, and four fighters' bank accounts prove it.