While Daniel Cormier had plans to retire within the next couple of months, the current UFC heavyweight champion may be influenced to stay around for a bit longer.
According to Cormier’s head coach, American Kickboxing Academy frontman Javier Mendez, UFC president Dana White could eventually persuade “DC” to fight at least a few more times. It would be a smart business move for White considering Cormier is currently ranked the No. 1 pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
“If Dana had his way, there’d be three left. And you know what, Dana has a pretty good way of persuading people,” Mendez recently told MMA Fighting. “I like Dana, so I don’t know — we may see two or three [more fights]. I don’t know, I think so. I think Dana has a way of making things good for DC and making it right, so yeah, possibly. I wouldn’t be surprised.”
Cormier, who turns 40 this March, is coming off a stellar 2018 in which he won Fighter of the Year honors. In three Octagon appearances last year, “DC” not only successfully defended his UFC light heavyweight title against Volkan Oezdemir, but he moved up to heavyweight to defeat then champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 to become a two-division champ, and then defended that same heavyweight title four months later with a submission win over Derrick Lewis.
It wasn’t until last month that Cormier relinquished his light heavyweight title in order for Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson to fight for the vacant 205-pound belt at UFC 232, which Jones won handily via third-round TKO.
Despite an active 2018 campaign, Mendez believes Cormier is physically capable of extending his professional MMA career. But if “DC” doesn’t feel like he can continue fighting and wants to call it quits tomorrow, Mendez isn’t going to try to stop him.
“He’s not endangering his health, so for me, whatever he wants, I’m going to be onboard,” Mendez explained. “So if he tells me tomorrow, ‘I’m done,’ then I’ll tell you he’s done, but if he says, ‘I’m going to fight 10 more fights, Jav,’ let’s fight 10 more fights. This is DC’s train. I’m onboard, and I’m glad to be onboard, and I’ll ride it until he doesn’t want to be onboard.”
“For me, I love DC so much, that if DC says tomorrow, ‘Jav, I’m done,’ then I’m going to encourage him to be done. But if he says, ‘Jav, I want to fight again,’ then I’m going to be onboard with him,” Mendez continued. “I’m with whatever DC wants. I love that guy so much, he’s such a great team captain and a great individual and a great friend.”
With so many big fights at his disposal it makes senses for Cormier to stick around for as long as possible, or at least as long as UFC is making it worth his while. Cormier not only has a trilogy fight with Jones that would satisfy his personal endeavors, but he has a potential superfight with Brock Lesnar that would land him the biggest payday of his career and a potential rematch with Miocic that “DC” owes to the UFC’s heavyweight division.
While all of those matchups make sense, Mendez would be happy to see Cormier fight just one last time. And even though the AKA coach would love the chance to defeat Jones and get revenge for two previous shortcomings, Mendez wants Lesnar above all else.
“I only want him to fight Brock, one fight, call it quits,” Mendez said. “He’s such an incredible coach, he’s an incredible analyst. Man, that guy is just made for TV. So, to me, he doesn’t need fighting. He doesn’t need it. So for me, I’m with whatever he wants to do, but if I had a choice I would say fight Brock and then call it quits.”
“That’s what I would do,” Mendez said. “But DC’s the boss, so he calls the shots.”
What say you, Maniacs? Should Cormier fight one last time against Lesnar or round out his career with all three matchups?