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UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier was supposed to have retired by his 40th birthday on Mar. 20 and envisioned going out in style with a final fight against pro wrestling superstar Brock Lesnar guaranteeing him one last big payday as a fighter, but neither materialized.
Cormier’s last performance inside the Octagon was against Derrick Lewis back in November where he won via submission in the second round. Cormier was offered the fight only four weeks out and carried a back injury into the fight which he aggravated against Lewis, forcing the champion to have back surgery which subsequently delayed his retirement party.
“DC” is now healthy again after recovering from his injuries and the UFC recently announced a rematch against the man he knocked out to win the heavyweight title, former champion Stipe Miocic, at UFC 241 on Aug. 18. In a recent interview with TMZ, Cormier reiterated his intention to retire and acknowledged his successful MMA career may end after his fight against Miocic.
“I always said that I was going to fight [until I was 40], which would have been March,” Cormier said. “I couldn’t make that one, so if I hold true to what I was saying, then this would be the final one. […] I don’t anticipate fighting much past this.”
Despite the result of their first fight, Cormier is not taking the former champion lightly and believes Miocic will correct the mistakes he made in the first fight.
“I truly believe [Miocic] is going to be a better version of himself,” he said. “I don’t think for a second that he’s going to make the same mistakes he did last time. […] I think it’ll be a much more difficult fight.”
Cormier has said he still has a desire to complete a trilogy against Jon Jones as the pair have already met on two occasions with Jones getting his hand raised in both fights. However, after their bout at UFC 214, in which Jones knocked Cormier out, the result was overturned to a no-contest after Jones tested positive for a banned substance.