Daniel Cormier knows exactly when he will call it a career.
The UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion has often said he would fight twice more before retiring in the time after his title-winning knockout over Stipe Miocic at July 7’s UFC 226, with one of those bouts being a title fight against returning former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
The fight was all but confirmed when the WWE champion stormed the Octagon when “DC” called him out with Miocic still recovering, inciting a circus-like scene that was maligned by many MMA fans and media members. But Cormier is trying to cash in in his final fights, and as one of the finest prizefighters the sport has ever seen it’s tough to blame him.
Cormier has teased defending his 205-pound belt one more time before fighting Lesnar due to the hulking pro wrestler’s suspension with USADA not expiring until January next year. The all-time MMA great hopes Lesnar will be his next fight, but regardless of what happens, “DC” recently confirmed to Damon Martin of MMAnytt (via MMA News) that Lesnar would be his last fight:
“He’ll be the last one. He’ll be the last fight of my career,” Cormier said about Lesnar. “Will he be next? I don’t know. I hope so but I’ve still got a belt to defend at 205 [pounds] to think about.”
Cormier tabbed former champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua for his next title defense if Rua can get past Anthony Smith in the UFC Hamburg main event this Sunday, a proposition that has many wondering if he’s merely trolling perceived top contender Alexander Gustafsson after edging “The Mauler” by split decision in a war when they met three years back. To that suggestion, Cormier played it coy:
“I’ll let you guys figure that one out.”
If he does cut back down to 205 pounds to defend his first UFC title, the possibility to his focus wavering to the huge spectacle of a monster payday against Lesnar. The two-division king said it was a concern, but as the consummate pro, he had to fulfill his duty as champion no matter the name he fought next:
“It’s going to be difficult but as a professional, you have to approach every fight the same exact way,” Cormier said about being excited to face a light heavyweight contender first before fighting Lesnar. “I would prepare myself to win and to defend the title. Any time you’re in a UFC title fight it’s a big deal and for anybody to say they didn’t up for it is crazy.
“You’re a professional. You’re a fighter. You have to get up for these events.”