At 38 years of age, Daniel Cormier knows that his time in the sport of mixed martial arts is limited and he doesn’t plan on fighting forever.
That being said, Cormier is still in the prime of his fighting career after picking up four wins in a row while defending the UFC light heavyweight title on two separate occasions.
This weekend, Cormier will step into the Octagon for undoubtedly the biggest fight of his career when he faces Jon Jones for a second time. Cormier has put together a perfect resume as a professional fighter outside of his lone loss to Jones in 2015 and he’s wanted nothing more than to erase that defeat with this rematch on Saturday night.
Still, Cormier knows that one win over Jones won’t be enough to eradicate those ghosts from his past because tying the series with his most heated rival won’t really settle the score.
Instead, Cormier is looking at his bout with Jones at UFC 214 as the second part of a three-fight playoff and even with a win, he still has more work to do.
“We run it back. There’s no way that him and I stay 1-1. Nope,” Cormier told MMAWeekly.com. “I go 2-1 before I decide what happens next. It’s my game. I’m the champ and it’s my game. We’ll see what happens after I beat him the second time.
“This is only fight No. 2 of three.”
Cormier knew he had what it took to beat Jones the first time around, but there were a few surprises that caught him off guard on that fateful night in 2015.
As much as it hurt losing to Jones, Cormier took away some valuable lessons that he put back into practice as he prepared for the rematch and it’s made him an even better fighter than before.
This time around, however, Cormier promises a much different result.
“The last time we fought, he fought a great fight. He won. He kept the pace, he stayed the course and he won in the championship rounds,” Cormier said. “I understand the championship rounds now. I understand how to win the championship rounds now. As we went through three [rounds], I can now go through five [rounds].
“So I believe that skill for skill, I’m a better fighter. I believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I know I’ve trained harder than I’ve ever trained. I know I’ve worked. I know I’ve prepared. I just think this is the time to get this job done.”
Prior to his first fight with Jones in 2015, Cormier had not only gone undefeated in his career, but he had won every round of every fight minus one rather controversial scorecard in his bout against Josh Barnett when they met in 2012.
Cormier doesn’t doubt that Jones is the best opponent he’s ever faced, but the light heavyweight champion still believes that he’s more than capable of not only winning this rematch but putting on a performance just as dominant as any of the wins throughout his career.
“There’s no reason why I can’t win every single round when we fight,” Cormier said.
If Cormier gets the job done at UFC 214, he’s absolutely prepared for the trilogy so he can put a nail in the coffin of his rivalry with Jones once and for all. First things first, Cormier has to get the win on Saturday night to force a third and final fight with Jones.