Daniel Cormier said he would retire by his 40th birthday. Yet, here we are in August, past his birthday which happened in March, and the heavyweight champ is set to fight. There, in the main event of UFC 241, he will take on Stipe Miocic in a rematch of their fight from UFC 226.
Although he has this fight booked, many are hoping for a Jon Jones trilogy bout. Yet, Cormier is uncertain on his fighting future.
“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.
“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.”
Not many fighters continue on past 40. Yet, here is Cormier doing just that. But, he doesn’t want to be the person who suffers a brutal knockout loss as to why they retire.
“I’ve long said I don’t want to be a guy that goes out on my back,” Cormier explained. “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.
“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.”
Ultimately, if Cormier is going to continue to fight, he knows it must be something big and worth his time.
“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,” Cormier said. “It needs to be something big.”