Daniel Cormier will make another walk down the Octagon this Saturday night (Aug. 17, 2019) when he faces Stipe Miocic in a Heavyweight title rematch at UFC 241 in Anaheim, California. “DC” knocked out Miocic at UFC 226 in July 2018 to become UFC “champ-champ,” ending Miocic’s record-setting run in the process.
Many expected this rematch to be Cormier’s final fight of his storied combat sports career, as he had long stated that retirement would come this year. Now, walking away from the fight game in 2019 isn’t a foregone conclusion.
“My head is on this fight. We just go one at a time at this point,” Cormier told MMA Fighting. “Because for a champion and a guy that’s been around and been a champion for a long time, at a point you start making such amazing amounts of money and the fame level is so high, people struggle to walk away.”
Indeed, Cormier does get paid well for his services. For Cormier, however, walking away on his own terms is something he aims to do, and he doesn’t want to be that guy who sticks around a bit too long and is eventually forced out of the game.
“The problem with that is ultimately you’ve seen the door. It’s whether you get shown the door or you choose to walk out. That’s what I have to decide,” he added. “I’ve long said I don’t want to be a guy that goes out on my back. A lot of our greatest champions they leave the sport on their back. They leave as former champions. They leave their fans with that last vision of their favorite fighter on their back, [then] standing in the middle of the Octagon while their belt is getting strapped on someone else. I don’t want to be that guy,” added the 265-pound king.
“I want to be a guy that goes out on his own terms. I know that as you turn 40 years old, that time starts to near. I just have to decide if that time is now or a little bit later down the line.”
UFC president Dana White previously stated during the ESPY Awards that “DC” would not be walking away from the sport, prompting a giggle from “DC” as he accepted his “Fighter of the Year” award.
Still, should Cormier prove victorious against Miocic once again, UFC will have to bring something to the table so gargantuan that Cormier has no choice but to stay a little while longer.
“If you have a guy that’s in my situation that’s won 90 percent of his fights and been a champion and lived this tremendous life that I’ve been blessed, you don’t want to stand across the Octagon from just anybody. It needs to be something big,” concluded Cormier.
And big could mean a Heavyweight fight against his long-time rival, Jon Jones, which would complete the trilogy after a long, exhausting and very heated grudge between the two men.