Already three months past his self-imposed retirement deadline, UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier recently stated that his UFC 242 headlining rematch with Stipe Miocic could be the final fight of his UFC career.
Having been an All-American in wrestling in college and twice representing the United States on the Olympic team, Cormier (22-1, 1NC) has achieved a lot at every level of his career. That includes his decade in mixed martial arts.
Cormier initially achieved notoriety in MMA as a reserve in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. He was essentially the back-up plan. He took full advantage, defeating Josh Barnett in the final to become the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion.
Moving on to the UFC, Cormier quickly transitioned to light heavyweight since his teammate and close friend Cain Velasquez was lighting up the heavyweight division. He has had a storied rivalry with current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
It took a couple years, but Cormier eventually won the light heavyweight championship after Jones was stripped of the belt because of outside of the cage issues.
Cormier eventually went on to become the promotion’s second dual-division champion when he took the heavyweight belt from Miocic at UFC 226 in July of 2018. He is also the UFC’s first such champion to defend at least one of his belts while simultaneously holding the other.
Cormier was forced to relinquish the light heavyweight title, as he staved off his self-imposted retirement date of March 20, 2019 (his fortieth birthday) in hopes of landing a blockbuster bout with WWE superstar and former UFC champion Brock Lesnar. That bout never materialized, as UFC president Dana White recently stated that Lesnar opted to retire from mixed martial arts.
Always insisting that Miocic had earned a rematch, Cormier decided to continue his UFC career and agreed to fight Miocic in the UFC 242 main event slated for Aug. 17 in Anaheim, Calif. Though there is lingering animosity with Jones, with whom Cormier has had numerous memorable encounters inside and outside of the Octagon, the bout with Miocic may prove to be Cormier’s final fight.
Cormier knows that Miocic is going to enter this fight a better version of the man he faced at UFC 226, so he’s not etching anything in stone at this point.
“I truly believe (Miocic) is going to be a better version of himself,” Cormier said in a recent interview with TMZ Sports. “I don’t think for a second that he’s going to make the same mistakes he did last time. I think it’ll be a much more difficult fight.”
Cormier knocked Miocic at the 4:33 mark of the first round at UFC 226. He’s under know misconception that it will happen that way again, but he full believes that he’ll “get it done again” and, if that happens, don’t be surprised if he then decides to ride off into the sunset. After all, he had already promised to retire by mid-March.
“I always said that I was gonna fight [until I was 40] which would have been March. I couldn’t make that one, so if I hold true to what I was saying, then this would be the final one. I don’t anticipate fighting much past this.”
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