Whenever Daniel Cormier decides to walk away from mixed martial arts (MMA) for good he’ll surely be missed.
The reigning UFC heavyweight champion is not only currently ranked the No. 1 pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, but he has held two UFC belts at once, remains undefeated at heavyweight, and has only lost to MMA great Jon Jones in his entire career. Those sort of accolades go a long way, and are clear-cut reasons why Cormier’s eventual departure from the sport will, for the lack of a better word, suck.
But what will Cormier miss the most when he calls it quits? When fans are looking back at his greatest accomplishments inside of the Octagon what will “DC” be thinking of?
“The walk, the tunnel. It is just fantastic,” Cormier told the ‘Jim Rome Podcast’ when asked what he’ll miss the most about fighting. “You walk out of that locker room and it’s almost like you’re about to head to a funeral. Everybody is worried and nervous and then the music hits the speakers and all that fear turns into butterflies and your skin starts to crawl and you’re like OK let’s go. Let’s go do what I really know I was made to do.
“You get to compete again Daniel Cormier so go out there and do it in a way that you know you can do it. Go and fight this man. Go and try to take this guy that’s trained and been living in the gym for the past eight weeks to prepare to try and beat you and take this title, you go out there and you give him no reason to believe he could ever be the champion. That just makes me shoot out of that tunnel. That’s why I run. I have a fire in my pants that tells me I need to go and do business. I’m going to miss the walk.”
Cormier, 39, has compiled an impressive 11-1 (1 NC) record in 13 trips to the Octagon since joining UFC back in 2013. He has become one of the more active champions in the sport today and a fighter who does what is needed when called upon. Due to his level of activity and willingness to fight whoever is next in line, “DC” has been able to compete on the grand stage as much as possible, which is yet another aspect of fighting that the UFC champion with dearly miss.
“I’m going to miss stepping into the Octagon. I’m going to miss that moment that it’s me in there and it’s [Bruce] Buffer and it’s my opponent and the referee and the commission and then I take three steps back after we shake hands and I look across and I look to my left and I look to my right and nobody else is there anymore,” Cormier described. “It’s just me, that official and that guy.
“From day one to now, every time they put that pin in the cage. 18,000, 20,000, 13,000 [people in attendance], I’ve heard it. I heard that little ping. I’ve heard that ping of that little pin dropping into that holster. I’ll miss hearing that and then the feeling that you get when you know that at this point it’s either you or him. That’s what I’m going to miss.”
As of now, Cormier has no fight scheduled. But if things go as planned, “DC” could be matched up against WWE superstar and former UFC champion Brock Lesnar sometime this year. That potential superfight would give Cormier the ability to cap off his MMA journey with the most high-profile opponent and biggest payday of his career.
Of course, that is if Cormier doesn’t decide to drop back down to light heavyweight and meet Jones in a trilogy fight.