Dana White wants Daniel Cormier to push retirement timeline: He's got three good fights left
TORONTO – Daniel Cormier has been talking about his retirement for a while now, and the clock is ticking down quickly.
Cormier long has said he will retire around his 40th birthday. The current UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champ will hit that magic number March 20 – a little more than three months away. Then he plans to quit fighting and presumably stay in the sport as a broadcast analyst, which he does currently for FOX Sports, and coach, which he has been for years at his American Kickboxing Academy training camp in San Jose, Calif.
But there’s one person – and an often influential person, at that – who doesn’t want to see Cormier hang up his gloves: UFC President Dana White.
“You know me,” White on Thursday told MMAjunkie in Toronto. “When it’s time for someone to retire, I’m the first one to say, ‘See you later, have a good rest of your life.’ Cormier isn’t that guy. I think Cormier’s got three good fights left in him. I’d love to see him stick around longer. We’ll see how it plays out. I know his camp is really pulling for him to call it a wrap. I hope he doesn’t.”
Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) is coming off a heavyweight title defense against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 in November. Prior to that, he won the belt against Stipe Miocic in July to become a simultaneous two-division champion, just the second in UFC history.
However, the plan is for him to be stripped of the 205-pound title later this month when former champion Jon Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) meets Alexander Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) in the UFC 232 main event in Las Vegas.
After that fight has a winner, Cormier will cease to be the light heavyweight champion and only will be the titleholder at heavyweight. After he won the belt from Miocic, former champ Brock Lesnar entered the cage and effectively challenged Cormier for the title he once held.
But talk of that fight has fizzled in recently. Even though Lesnar can’t fight Cormier until after the new year because of USADA testing requirements, there have been reports that he may have re-upped his deal with the WWE, and he may no longer want his hat in the ring to fight Cormier in a return to the UFC. If that’s the case, White said he’s unaware and hasn’t talked to Lesnar anytime recently.
White does think Cormier and Jones should fight one more time, but not at the light heavyweight division they’ve met in twice previously. Jones won a decision against Cormier in their first meeting. He knocked him out in their second fight, but that win was overturned when Jones failed a post-fight drug test and Cormier had the light heavyweight title returned to him.
“Cormier is so stubborn,” White said. “I think those two should fight at heavyweight. (Cormier) wants to fight him at 205.”
Regardless of what happens or who he fights, we’re about three months away from finding out if Cormier will stick to his original promise of retirement at 40 – or if he’ll find a reason to stick around some more.
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.