UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier wanted to be enjoying retirement and the next stages of his career by this point. However, the 40-year-old suffered a back injury last year that has kept him on the sidelines until this coming Saturday night at UFC 241 when he meets Stipe Miocic for the title.
Cormier, also a former UFC light heavyweight champion, has already started to take on projects outside of the Octagon. He has served as an announcer and analyst, along with a wrestling job at a local high school. So, will this weekend be his final fight?
“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.”
Cormier captured the heavyweight title in 2018 when he knocked out Miocic in the first round. Back in November, he scored a successful title defense with a second round submission win over Derrick Lewis, stretching his unbeaten streak to eight consecutive fights.
“I’ve long said I don’t want to be a guy that goes out on my back,” Cormier said. “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.”