UFC: Daniel Cormier Officially Retires
Daniel Cormier has established himself as one of the greatest heavyweights and light heavyweights in the UFC. He captured UFC titles in both weight classes and became the first fighter to defend titles in two divisions.
Cormier’s last fight saw him challenging Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 252. It was their trilogy bout and one that would determine the best UFC heavyweight of all. However, things did not go his way as ‘DC’ wound up losing the unanimous decision.
“I’m Not Going To Fight Anymore”
“I’m not going to fight anymore,” Cormier said. “I was talking to Joe Rogan after the fight, and I told him my interest is fighting for championships, and I can’t imagine with a loss that I’d be fighting for a belt again. I lost two fights in a row for the first time in my career. You’ve got to understand when it’s time, and the reality is part of the reason I got hit with that right hand by Stipe is because I’m older. You can’t fight father time.
“At 41 years old, I fought the heavyweight champion of the world three rounds to two with the idea that I wanted to win. I didn’t go in there trying to give a good account of myself. I wanted to win the fight and I still believe I can beat Stipe Miocic. But every day that passes, it doesn’t work in my favour.”
A Discreet Retirement
The two previously fought for the UFC heavyweight title twice previously. In the first bout, ‘DC’ knocked out Miocic in the first round to capture the belt at UFC 226. In their second meeting, the Cormier lost the title by fourth-round TKO at UFC 241.
Ahead of the trilogy fight, Cormier made it clear that it would be his last. While he didn’t leave his gloves in the cage, as many fighters do when they retire, he had his reasons.
“I lost the fight, that’s Stipe’s moment,” Cormier said. “He’s the champ. Why would I do that? Because a guy like me retires in the Octagon there, that’s what people talk about.
“In the standing in the world, there’s a difference between Stipe and I. If I’m in there and I take my gloves off, it’s almost like stealing his thunder. I wasn’t going to do that. He won the fight.”
“He Won The Fight”
‘DC’ accepted the result of his trilogy fight with Miocic and ultimately believes that the fight was judged correctly and that his opponent was simply the better fighter on the night.
“I thought he won the fight. I don’t think with the way judging is you’re hopeful after, but the reality is he won the fight. He did a good job. He deserved to get his hand raised on that night. He won the fight.”
After his final fight, Cormier admitted he was overwhelmed with a lot of emotions. However, such emotions were usually for his next fights. Now, since he was done fighting, they would no longer be necessary.
“I was very sad; I cried like always,” Cormier continued. “I felt very sad and disappointed. I apologised to my coaches for not getting the job done. Apologised to my wife and kids and everybody that thought I was going to win the fight and have sacrificed so much for me to get ready for the fight.
“I started thinking to myself when I’m sulking, I started thinking to myself those reactions a lot of times were preparation for the next time. If I was so sad and I was crying because [Jon] Jones beat me, I cried and I was sad because I wanted to ensure that it hurt so much that it would never happen again. Then I started thinking, there isn’t another one. There isn’t another ‘again.’ I needed to maybe process this one a little bit different.”
“All These Young Guys”
Cormier realises that as the days pass when you’re 41 years old, his game is only going to decline each day that passes. Whilst the youngsters are going to continue to improve everyday.
“All these young guys, they just continue to improve and they continue to train and get better and they stay younger – they stay a lot younger,” said Cormier. “Even when Jones and I fought the first time. I was 35 years old. He was maybe 26, 25, something like that. Those guys are still young. Everyday that goes by, my time just gets a little bit more in the rearview. I’m not going to be fighting anymore.
“It makes me sad to see guys like Robbie Lawler last weekend fighting guys that years ago, for as talented as Neil Magny is, I don’t feel like that would have been as hard a fight for Robbie back in the day. Robbie today, gets beat 30-26 by Neil Magny fighting in the co-main event of a Fight Night card from those classic fights that he had with Rory [MacDonald]. That sucks. He’s only 38. I am not saying Robbie Lawler should not be fighting, but at 41, what am I going to do next? Just go fight some random dude? Go be fodder for somebody to build their name off of, I don’t need that.”
A Life In Retirement
The former two division champion already has a retirement plan prepared for himself, with a broadcasting career being one of his post-fight endeavours. While the urge to fight will never truly fade, Cormier shut down any plans of fighting again by withdrawing from the USADA testing pool.
“I feel like I’m closing the door shut on this thing – it’s over,” he said. “And I’m not sad about it. I’m not sad. I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss the training camps. I’m going to miss the fights. There’s nothing like a fight week, but you have to understand when it’s your time. I feel like it’s time.”
How do you see Daniel Cormier in retirement?