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Morning Report: Daniel Cormier okay with his retirement fight being in an empty arena, thinks it will be ‘the perfect way to go out’

Daniel Cormier
Daniel Cormier
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Over the previous couple of months, the coronavirus has thrown the MMA world into disarray, especially that of the UFC. Events have been cancelled or postponed as UFC President Dana White has been scrambling to find a way to make fights happen amid a global pandemic and the various governmental restrictions it is causing. The UFC is not the only one affected though as the fighters, too, are left without certainty around their planned future fights. But while eventually the pandemic will pass and things will return to business as usual, there’s one fighter who doesn’t have time to waste: former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

Cormier last fought in August when he lost his heavyweight title in a rematch with Stipe Miocic. “DC,” who has been on the verge of retirement for well over a year, made it clear that he would only fight one more time, in a trilogy fight between the two. However, an injury to Miocic has kept the fight from being scheduled and now, with a global pandemic in full effect, even if the UFC does book the fight, it will likely be under very different circumstances: in an empty arena without fans to see him off. It’s not exactly the image one thinks of for a legendary fighter’s swan song but it appears DC has made his peace with it.

“It’s going to end that way,” Cormier said recently on an Episode of DC and Helwani. “Empty arena and if it’s at the (UFC) Apex, I think the cage is smaller. It’s like the Ultimate Fighter cage, so that’s a whole other fight. It’s a smaller cage than the one we fight in for pay-per-views. But yeah, I’ll go fight this guy in the empty arena. I want to fight him. Yeah, you know, it could end like that or it could end like Vince Carter. Vince actually got lucky that they got to finish their game. Vince got to finish their game and everybody kind of moved off the side and he shot a three-pointer. You can not have a chance to finish, so at least I get an opportunity to finish.”

Cormier is referencing NBA player Vince Carter, whose 22-year career has spanned four decades and who entered this NBA season intending to retire at the end of it. In March, the NBA suspended the rest of its season, following a game between the New York Knicks and Carter’s Atlanta Hawks, creating the potential for Carter’s final game to be an unheralded event on a Wednesday night, not unlike Cormier’s possible retirement fight may end up being. But for Cormier, the lack of fans and the oddness of the situation won’t matter to him, so long as his family can be present for his last ride.

“I don’t know how it would work with my family,” Cormier said. “That is the one thing I would want. I would want my wife and kids to experience that last one, but I don’t know if that’s even gonna be possible if it’s done in that way. So, a little bit different, a little different though.”

Then again, the UFC has yet to even announce when the fight might happen so it’s possible the event could be held far enough in the future that the world has returned to normal. That’s a big if though and one Cormier doesn’t believe will happen. The UFC is pushing to return to hosting events on a regular cadence again and Cormier believes he and Miocic will likely end up fighting this summer. Which, according to the former champ-champ, isn’t all bad. Because when the UFC comes back it will be stacking fight cards with bouts that got postponed, creating hugely enticing events for the fans, Cormier thinks that it may make his last bout all the more special.

“I was pretty confident that it was gonna happen at the time in my head that I know, but right now I don’t know when in the summer it’s gonna happen,” Cormier concluded. “But I just can feel that when it does, it’s gonna be bigger than it was ever gonna be. . . More good fights, more people at home watching. It’s gonna be the perfect way to go out - on top, as the man.”


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Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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