It has been two weeks since Daniel Cormier lost to Stipe Miocic at UFC 252, his most recent, and now final, attempt to win the UFC heavyweight championship. Cormier is now retired. He has closed the door on a return to the Octagon.
Following the fight, his third with Miocic in the past two years, Cormier said that he was pretty sure that was the final fight of his career, but he wouldn’t lay his gloves down in the Octagon. Though that is an unofficial signal of retirement, Cormier didn’t want to do that to Stipe, whom he believed won the fight.
“I thought he won the fight,” Cormier said in his Monday ESPN podcast on YouTube. “I don’t think with the way judging is you’re hopeful after, but the reality is he won the fight. He did a good job. He deserved to get his hand raised on that night. He won the fight.
“I lost the fight, that’s Stipe’s moment. He’s the champ. Why would I (leave my gloves in the Octagon)? A guy like me retires in the octagon there, that’s what people talk about. In the standing in the world, there’s a difference between Stipe and I. If I’m in there and I take my gloves off, it’s almost like stealing his thunder. I wasn’t going to do that. He won the fight.”
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Cormier appeared to have left the cage door cracked open ever so slightly when he told Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview that he only wanted to fight for championships and didn’t think another title shot would be forthcoming. While many fans may have held out hope, Cormier is not. He is calling it a career.
“I’m not going to fight anymore. I was talking to Joe Rogan after the fight, and I told him my interest is fighting for championships, and I can’t imagine with a loss that I’d be fighting for a belt again. I lost two fights in a row for the first time in my career. You’ve got to understand when it’s time, and the reality is part of the reason I got hit with that right hand by Stipe is because I’m older. You can’t fight father time,” Cormier continued.
“At 41 years old, I fought the heavyweight champion of the world three rounds to two with the idea that I wanted to win. I didn’t go in there trying to give a good account of myself. I wanted to win the fight and I still believe I can beat Stipe Miocic. But every day that passes, it doesn’t work in my favor… Every day that goes by, my time just gets a little bit more in the rearview. I’m not going to be fighting anymore.”
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Though Cormier’s name value is likely at its all-time high, he’s not looking to milk that in the Octagon and watch his legacy dwindle into a shadow of what it currently is. He could be a gatekeeper for the up-and-comers, but that’s not Daniel Cormier. He is only interested in being the world champion, the best that he can possibly be. He’s not going to stand by the door as others build their careers off of him.
“At 41, what am I going to do next? Just go fight some random dude? Go be fodder for somebody to build their name off of, I don’t need that,” Cormier stated.
“I feel like I’m closing the door shut on this thing. It’s over. And I’m not sad about it. I’m not sad. I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss the training camps. I’m going to miss the fights. There’s nothing like a fight week, but you have to understand when it’s your time. I feel like it’s time,” he continued.
“I’ve been at the highest level since I was a young boy. It’s gonna be very difficult to not have that part of my life, but I’m going to take all that energy that I have spent trying to win championships and be the best in the world in wrestling and try to apply it to what I do next.”
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