A back injury, Brock Lesnar re-signing with the WWE, and other issues stood in the way of what Daniel Cormier wanted, to retire from MMA on his 40th birthday.
Now, months after he blew out the candles, Cormier is set to return at UFC 241 in a rematch against Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title.
“I always said that I would fight until I turn 40, which was a card on March 2nd,” Cormier said to TMZ. “I couldn’t make that one so if I hold true to what I was saying, then this would be the final one. I don’t anticipate fighting much past this. I just want to go out there and do my thing. Ultimately, I know what led to me having trouble in wrestling. There are so many differences in wrestling, I was like ‘last time I’m ever gonna weigh in, last time I’m ever gonna do this.’ I don’t need to be looking at it as if it’s a weight off my shoulders. I get the opportunity to prepare again. I get the opportunity to go chase another gold belt, a new gold belt. So I’ve got to really be living that and enjoy that.”
For Cormier, UFC 241 may be the end of the road, and if so he will need to be prepared to face a tougher Stipe Miocic than he faced last year in Las Vegas.
“I think he’s gonna be upset,” Cormier said of Miocic, who has been campaigning for months to get his rematch. “I think he might be a little bit emotional but I truly believe he’s gonna be a better version of himself. I don’t think for a second that he’s gonna make the same mistakes that he did this time. I think it’ll be a much more difficult fight. There were some areas that Stipe could have done better and I think his coach is a fantastic coach so he’ll go and address those issues so I’m gonna have a much tougher fight on my hands this time.”
“I get this done again. I feel like I will prepare myself and get ready to fight come August 17,” said of his long road to UFC 241 in Anaheim. “If you asked me today? I probably couldn’t beat Stipe Miocic. I’m out of shape, I’m barely getting started. I’m just working, trying to drop off the extra pounds. I’ve been living a very, very cushy life since November. I’ve been working television, enjoying my family, coaching wrestling. So I’ve got some work to do to get back where I need to be. . .”
“UFC 241 in Anaheim, the Honda Center. The last time I was there, I got it wrong. Now I get to go make that right. I want a better memory of that arena.”