Daniel Cormier: “I’m not gonna fight anymore”

Daniel Cormier, one of the biggest stars of the modern generation of Mixed Martial Arts, confirmed his plans to retire on Monday.

One of the biggest stars of the modern generation of Mixed Martial Arts confirmed his plans to retire on Monday as Daniel Cormier stated he has no intention of fighting again.

The former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion responded to the retirement question asked by co-host Ariel Helwani of ESPN:

Am I done fighting? Yeah, I’m not going to fight anymore.

I was talking to Joe Rogan after the fight and I told him that my interest is fighting for championships and I can’t imagine with a loss that I’d be fighting for a belt again. I’ve 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 (Miocic) is because I’m older, you know? You can’t fight father time and 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.

All these young guys, they just continue to improve and continue to train and get better, and they stay younger, they stay a lot younger. When Jones and I fought the first time, I was 35 years old. I mean he was 26, 25, something like that. Those guys are still young and every day that goes by, my time just gets a bit more in the rearview.

Yeah, I’m not going to be fighting anymore.

I feel like I’m closing the door shut on this thing. I got a text message from Cassandra asking if I’m getting out of the USADA testing pool and I told her “yeah” I just haven’t told her yet. I think when you do that, you’re pretty certain of your decision. I’ve been tested by USADA since I was 21 years old, I’ve been tested by USADA for 20 years of my life. It’s over and I’m not sad about it. I’m not sad like I’m not sad. 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 and I feel like it’s time.

After a decorated amateur wrestling career where he represented the United States at the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008, he transitioned to MMA in 2009 at the age of 30 having never boxed previously.

He was recommended to Scott Coker, who placed him on their feeder cards known as Strikeforce Challengers, and defeated Gary Frazier in September 2009 in his first pro fight.

He fought on regional shows while working his way up the ladder in Strikeforce until his big break as an alternate in the stacked Heavyweight Grand Prix the promotion launched in 2011.

After defeating former UFC title challenger Jeff Monson in a reserve bout, Cormier was called upon to replace Alistair Overeem, who was UFC bound. Cormier entered the Grand Prix stopping Antonio “Big Foot” Silva to advance to the finals where he defeated Josh Barnett by unanimous decision in this biggest win of his newfound career.

After Strikeforce was shut down in 2013, Cormier joined the contingent of fighters that migrated to the UFC defeating Frank Mir in his first fight with the promotion, and followed that with a decision win over Roy Nelson.

While many pegged Cormier as a potential champion at heavyweight, Cormier’s training partner was the reigning UFC champion and Cormier opted to cut down to light heavyweight in 2014.

After wins against late replacement Patrick Cummins and a submission victory over Dan Henderson, Cormier was set to challenge Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title in September that year.

The two would become synonymous with each other with a rivalry that stemmed from a remark made by Jones that left a poor impression on Cormier and the tension only intensified as their first fight drew closer.

An injury to Jones postponed the fight to January 2015. The fight received large coverage following a pull-apart brawl in the lobby of the MGM Grand Garden Hotel in Las Vegas during a promotional appearance. Later, the footage was leaked of the two joined on a satellite media interview that erased any doubt that their feud was contrived or heightened for the cameras.

They did an enormous pay-per-view figure at UFC 181 in January 2015 when Jones earned a clear decision victory and showed no respect to Cormier afterward by displaying the DX crotch chop after the horn sounded in the fifth round.

Jones was involved in a hit-and-run case in April 2015 that led to the UFC stripping him of his championship. The vacant title put up in a fight between Cormier and Anthony Johnson in May with Cormier overcoming a knockdown in the first round to win the fight and his first UFC championship.

The rematch with Jones was inevitable, although it was going to take longer than expected to materialize. Days before UFC 200 in July 2016, it was revealed that Jones had failed a pre-fight drug test and was off the mammoth card with Cormier agreeing to fight Anderson Silva on late notice in a non-title fight.

In July 2017 at UFC 214, the rematch finally happened at the Honda Center in Anaheim where Jones stopped Cormier with a beautiful head kick in the third round. A much classier Jones thanked Cormier in his post-fight speech and appeared to end this chapter of Cormier’s career. However, weeks later, it was revealed that Jones had failed another drug test for the banned substance Turinabol and he was stripped of the title and it was returned to Cormier.

The final leg of Cormier’s career may be his defining period and it didn’t involve Jones. Cormier successfully defended the light heavyweight title in January 2018 over Volkan Oezdemir before returning to heavyweight and becoming a two-division champion after stopping Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 in July.

Ultimately, Cormier would vacate the 205-pound title, which would end up back around the waist of Jones by year’s end while Cormier continued to fight at heavyweight. In August 2019, Miocic regained the title with a fourth-round TKO setting up this summer’s rubber match that was won by Miocic two weeks ago with a unanimous decision victory at UFC 252.

While Cormier’s fighting days appear to be done, his connection to the sport appears to be as strong as ever as a regular member of the UFC broadcasting team and will be co-hosting “DC & Helwani” with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani every Monday.

In the past, there have been overtures by WWE of working with Cormier, who has a history with FOX Sports through his work as an analyst on UFC Tonight prior to the UFC moving to ESPN.

Cormier retires with a record of 22-3 with 1 no contest with his only losses to Miocic and Jones and will be a lock for the UFC Hall of Fame.

About John Pollock 5663 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.