Former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion on Saturday lost his stepfather to cancer.

Cormier’s biological father died when he was seven years old, according to an interview he gave to Sports Illustrated. He was raised by his stepfather, Percy Benoit, whom Cormier refereed to as his father. 

Benoit succumbed to cancer, according to Cormier, who posted this moving tribute on his Instagram page:

“Today I lost my hero to cancer, my father was the bravest, strongest , hardest working and most caring person I’ve ever known. Always the life of the party and made everyone he ever came in contact with feel good. I never could have imagined we would be going through this right now. All the lessons I wanna try and pass along I learned from my dad. You know its about the legacy we leave behind and my dads legacy will be one of just a great person, loving husband and father and friend to everyone. If you’ve ever met Percy Benoit you’re better for it. We were able to see some amazing things pops and I hope you enjoyed the ride, I only wanted to make you proud. I love you pop, you were the strenght of this family , now you get to rest. No more pain. Love you Dad.”

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