Daniel Cormier had said before his trilogy fight with UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 252 that this would be his last fight, win or lose. On Monday, he officially confirmed that indeed, he would be calling it quits. He announced his retirement on Monday on his ESPN show, “DC & Helwani.”
“I can’t imagine with a loss that I’d be fighting for a belt again. I lost two fights in a row for the first time in my career,” said the former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion. “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 is because I’m older.”
Cormier took the heavyweight belt from Miocic with a first round KO back in 2018 at UFC 226. After defending his newfound belt against Derrick Lewis, Cormier then fought Miocic in a rematch, suffering a fourth round TKO in a fight he had hitherto been winning.
The rivalry finally got some closure at UFC 252, where Miocic beat Cormier via unanimous decision.
Many speculated that perhaps Cormier was going back on his word about retirement, as he did not leave his gloves in the cage (a common tradition among fighters to announce their retirement). In response to that, Cormier said: “I lost the fight, that’s Stipe’s moment,” adding: “He’s the champ. Why would I do that?”
While the 41-year-old Cormier is still undoubtedly among the elite fighters of the world, he says he does not want to overstay his welcome and play out the end of his career as a declining fighter.
“All these young guys, they just continue to improve and they continue to train and get better and they stay younger,” Cormier said. “It makes me sad to see guys like Robbie Lawler last weekend fighting guys that years ago, for as talented as Neil Magny is, I don’t feel like that would have been as hard a fight for Robbie back in the day,” referring to Robbie Lawler’s unanimous decision loss to Neil Magny in last Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event.
Between his accolades in wrestling, Strikeforce, and the UFC, Cormier finishes career as one of the most prolific combat sports athletes in history.