Daniel Cormier, who currently owns the UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight titles, has been planning to retire in March of 2019 for some time. UFC President Dana White, however, isn’t sure that’s the way things will shake out.
“I don’t know [if Cormier’s last fight will be next year],” White told TMZ Sports recently (transcript via MMA Fighting). “We don’t know that either yet. I think Cormier’s got a couple left in him.”
Dana White added that he is hoping Daniel Cormier will bump back his retirement plans to accommodate one fight in particular: a blockbuster trilogy fight with his arch rival Jon Jones — at heavyweight.
In fact, the UFC boss wants three more fights out of the reigning heavyweight and light heavyweight champ.
“I hope so,” White pressed about Cormier delaying his retirement. “That was what I would like. I would like to see Jones and Cormier fight at heavyweight but right now, Cormier’s team wants him to retire right now. They want him to retire right now. I hope we can get three more fights out of him.”
These comments from Dana White represent a bit of a u-turn, as he recently assured he would never encourage a fighter to delay their retirement plans.
“I never convince anyone to stick around,” Dana White said at the UFC 230 post-fight press conference, shortly after Daniel Cormier submitted Derrick Lewis. “If somebody thinks they’re done, you’ll never hear an argument out of me. When you say you’re done, you’re probably done. You think about Cormier, and he’s been doing this for a long time, whether wrestling, mixed martial arts, and he’s gonna be 40 years old soon. He’s got a lot of wear and tear on his body.”
Daniel Cormier has expressed interest in fighting both Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar before his planned retirement in March, but has so far been adamant that we won’t be delaying his retirement for either.
Do you think he’ll retire in early 2019 as planned?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/19/2018.