Cormier Unsure if Lesnar or Jones is After Lewis
Daniel Cormier has been adamant about defending both the UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Titles. He had also previously stated that he was moving on from Jon Jones and focusing on an upcoming title fight with Brock Lesnar. But now, everything seems uncertain.
It was recently announced that Cormier would be making a short-notice title defense against Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC 230 on Nov. 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This is the last fight on Cormier’s current UFC deal, and Cormier has expressed that he would retire in March after his 40th birthday.
“I didn’t think I was going to fight on this card, but the deal I got was so good,” Cormier told ESPN. “There was no way I could say no, honestly. Especially with a guy like Derrick, who is not known for the best cardio. I’ve got to start fast and hope I can push harder than him, even with a short camp.”
Cormier’s swan song of a fight was expected to be the Lesnar bout, as Lesnar is ineligible to compete until 2019 due to the length of suspension still remaining from his failed UFC 200 drug test back in 2016. But now that fight may not happen, as Cormier seems to have changed his mind about Jones and may want one more crack at the only man to put blemishes on his near-perfect MMA record — one loss and one loss overturned to a No Contest.
Jones is scheduled to return to the Octagon since his second bout with Cormier at UFC 232 on Dec. 29, facing Alexander Gustafsson. It is expected to be a light heavyweight title fight, with Cormier being stripped of the title once the fight starts. This would also be a rematch of a highly-praised, closely-scored title bout from 2013, which saw Jones retain via a unanimous decision.
Cormier says right now he’s focused on the title defense against Lewis, but he will make a choice between Jones and Lesnar after the fight.
“Counting the Lewis fight, I think I’m down to two fights left,” Cormier said. “Maybe this will be a blessing in disguise, the fact that I don’t have a crazy, long fight camp to beat myself down. That may prolong it for me, but right now, I think I have this one and maybe one more. I can still fight in March and hit my retirement date.
The one opponent that would matter to me most is Jones because he’s beaten me twice. The one that would mean more financially would be Lesnar. I think I would always pick the one that means more, but my wife might have something to say about that.
Original Story: ESPN