UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is headed into the biggest fight of his career at UFC 226, but he’s still got his sights set firmly on retirement in the next year.
Cormier’s belt won’t be on the line, but his legacy will be when he challenges heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic for his belt in the UFC 226 main event on July 7 in Las Vegas. If Cormier wins, he would become only the second fighter in UFC history to lay claim to belts in two different weight classes simultaneously. The only other athlete to do that was Conor McGregor, though he never defended either of his championships before being stripped.
Though this monstrous fight lays before him, Cormier is sticking to his plans to retire by the age of 40, which comes on March 20 of next year. And despite that deadline, Cormier believes he can follow-up Miocic with two more bouts before he rides off into the sunset.
“I think I can get two more, I can squeeze a couple more in,” Cormier said on Monday’s edition of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on ESPN. “If I fight July 7, I bet I can get one around November and then take a month off in December, and I can squeeze one in in the beginning of March.”
“I beat Stipe Miocic – and this all depends on the UFC, and Alexander Gustafsson may hate to hear this – but I’d like to at some point fight (Jon) Jones again and fight Brock Lesnar. Those are the two ideal end fights, but things don’t always work out perfect. But I feel like that would be perfect. There’s going to be a few guys pissed off about it, but they can enjoy fighting each other.”
There is obvious history between Jones and Cormier. The two have fought twice with Jones winning both, although their most recent match-up was changed to a no contest after Jones tested positive for banned substances. They have other false starts, as well, and there has been a tremendous amount of vitriol between them.
As for why Lesnar? Cormier sees it as a massive fight that would produce an equivalent pay day as he closes the cage door.