UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is nearing 40 years old, and despite dominating a much younger challenger in Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220 on Saturday, he has already planned his retirement date.
Cormier (20-1) has been the best 205-pound fighter outside of Jon Jones for some time now, and with ‘Bones’ facing yet another unceremonious suspension following their rematch at UFC 214, he will hold that distinction for the foreseeable future. DC’s status as champion was reinforced once again after a second-round TKO shut down the Oezdemir hype train in Boston last week.
As he approaches the big 4-0, Cormier revealed on today’s episode of The MMA Hour that he has set a very specific date for his retirement from MMA:
“Come March, I will have 12 months, at max, left. I’m going to be done by March 20, 2019. I won’t be fighting again.”
“I’m done, I’m going to done at 40,” Cormier said. “I won’t be back. There won’t be jumping around or ‘I’m done until I get the right type of fight.’ It’ll be over. I’m not going to be doing this anymore. I’ve said time and time again that I’ve lived a great life in sports, I’ve loved every moment of it. My family has revolved around sports. Not only my family, Selena and the kids, but also my mom and my dad. I’ve been the center of the athletic universe for my family for a really, really long time, and it’s time for that to be little Daniel and Marquita. It’s time for them to be the center of our athletic competition, and I just want to be one of those crazy dads that gets to yell on the sideline and just go crazy and brag about his kids.”
The light heavyweight division will certainly undergo quite the transformation once Cormier retires, and with no sign of Jones anytime soon, the 205-pound weight class will be in dire need of high-level replacements.
In fact, it’s almost unfathomable to think of a light heavyweight division without either man.
For his part, Cormier knows when to bow out; the man began his career in earnest in 2009, and ever since then, he’s collected belts wherever he’s fought. Now, Cormier has his broadcasting gig with FOX Sports to fall back on, and his occasional commentary at UFC events.
Who will be the man to replace DC once he’s retired? Assuming Jones is still off the radar, it could be some time before the UFC truly answers that question.