With his career winding down, UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is looking at only two more fights before hanging up the gloves, and both are against familiar foes.
Over the weekend, the UFC officially announced that Cormier would be defending his title this summer against the man he just won the belt from, Stipe Miocic. Originally, the UFC had intended to have Brock Lesnar challenge Cormier, but after months of waiting and negotiation, Lesnar reportedly told the UFC he would not be coming back and so the world’s premier MMA organization audibled into an immediate rematch for Miocic.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani on Monday, Cormier discussed the change in plans, saying that it was disappointing, but at the end of the day, he’s the champion and has a job to do, even if he doesn’t like how Miocic handled his end of things.
““The whole time I said [Miocic] was a bit entitled,” Cormier said. “It would have been different if we did not understand. These are conversations we had with the company. ‘One of you guys is gonna get to fight Brock Lesnar.’ He was just as happy as I was. So to make it seem as though I was doing something wrong after I was the one that won the fight, I just felt like it was unfair. I’m not wronging this guy. I’m doing exactly what we were told to do after our first fight. . .
“It was a little disappointing in the sense that I would have loved to compete against [Brock]. It was a big fight, big moment, but I’ve always been a guy that does what’s up next. . . I’ve said it from day one. I’ve always said I’d fight Stipe again if Lesnar couldn’t fight so I was like, ‘Let’s fight Stipe.’”
That being said, Cormier isn’t completely sold on the idea that Brock is gone for good. As recently as a few weeks ago, Lesnar was still enrolled in the USADA testing pool, and Cormier believes that if the price was right, Lesnar could still be convinced to come back.
“I think that Brock’s a competitor, and if the right opportunity presents itself for him, he would do it,” Cormier said. “The guy’s a fighter. Everybody kinda sh*ts on Brock Lesnar and says this guys can’t fight, but he’s a fighter and he’s a competitor, and he likes money. So for the right amount of money and the right opportunity, I’m sure he could be convinced to come back.”
Lesnar does not have a big window to come back if he wants to fight Cormier though. The current heavyweight champion had previously made it clear he would retire this past March, but after surgery on his back in December, Cormier pushed off his retirement deadline. DC now is saying that he doesn’t have a hard timeline set for when he will walk away from the sport, but that it is coming up quickly, potentially as soon as he’s done with the Miocic rematch.
“I think we have to take these things one at a time at this point,” Cormier said. “I’m not necessarily saying I’m gonna fight three, four times. I think for me, it would need to be something very intriguing.”
But what would qualify as intriguing? According to Cormier, there’s only one fight he would want after he takes care of business against Miocic again, a third crack at Jon Jones.
“It’s all I want,” Cormier said. “When I fight Jones, I feel most complete when I’m preparing for competition against that guy because it makes me train harder. It makes me train smarter. I do everything right in preparation and I believe that if I do stick around that would be the fight that I do it for. And it would be at 205 pounds because I need to go and get that back from him.
“I don’t need the deck stacked in my favor. My whole life I’ve overcome odds. I’ve faced uphill battle after uphill battle my entire life and I’ve always been able to get through it. This is one of the only things I’ve not been able to conquer. I need to go do it. I have to get it right.”
Cormier and Jones have a storied history at 205 pounds, with Jones being the only man to defeat Cormier. After Jones’ most recent spate of trouble that saw him suspended for 15 months, both Cormier and Jones had apparently moved on from every squaring up one final time. But with is career coming to a close, it seems that Cormier is ready to reopen old wounds. And if not, then Cormier may just retire after the Miocic rematch.
“There’s only two fights out there for me,” Cormier said. “There’s a Miocic rematch and there’s a Jones fight, if there is a fight. I just don’t anticipate just fighting anybody at this point.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Per reports, Tony had a good meeting with the UFC brass and is gonna be set up for a fight soon.
Honesty and self reflection.
Want to thank @DerekBrunson once again for the fight, learning lesson and the extra Air Miles. He took me on a flight I wont soon forget and one that will keep me motivated for my own hand to be raised. #rewardmiles #mondaymotivation pic.twitter.com/1l1U17XOQm— The Mane Event™ (@EliasTheodorou) May 6, 2019
Appreciate the message and respect. I am 100% honest with myself in that was not a good performance at all. Was mentally checked out when my opponent didn't come at me swinging as expected. Congrats to him, he was the better man and I will look to be better my next appearance. https://t.co/fdg3ZPgVCn— The Mane Event™ (@EliasTheodorou) May 6, 2019
Nope. Not justifying at all. Taking full responsibility. I sucked on Saturday. Totally understand I need to fix alot. Was able to win fights with an unorthodox style when it confused opponents, but when an opponent didn't play my game, I was the one that looked confused. https://t.co/hncwBieEVd— The Mane Event™ (@EliasTheodorou) May 6, 2019
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The internet is forever, Conor. pic.twitter.com/2qZbWnWSR2— Logo Lillard (@mookiealexander) May 6, 2019
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ACA is claiming Amir Aliakbari has breached his contract with them by signing with the UFC.
ACA have released a statement claiming that Amir Aliakbari has breached his contract by signing with the UFC pic.twitter.com/2IhZu9fCXG— Darren Russell (@DarrenRussell_) May 6, 2019
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Maybe we need to shop this around... Mr @ScottCoker, former bellator champ @ILLxWillBrooks vs @beatdown155 #MMAVeterans promising an explosive #onenightstand in June on any date @ZenGinnen @GinnenGroup @BellatorMMA let’s go the fans deserve it #violence of the greatest kind pic.twitter.com/7bvTKJNY5u— Damien Brown (@beatdown155) May 7, 2019
The GOAT is back.
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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
1999: Bas Rutten became the UFC heavyweight champion after winning a controversial split decision over Kevin Randleman at UFC 20. Also at this event, Wanderlei Silva scored his first win in the UFC, knocking out Tony Petarra with a knee.
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Thanks for reading. See y’all tomorrow.
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