Monday, August 31, 2020

Daniel Cormier, one of the great MMA fighters of all time, the first to ever defend UFC belts in two divisions, officially retired during an episode of his DC & Helwani Show. The announcement, which was expected, comes three weeks after losing the trilogy fight with heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 252.

“I’m not going to fight anymore,” declared DC. “I was talking to Joe Rogan after the fight, and I told him my interest is fighting for championships, and 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. 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. You can’t fight father time.

“At 41 years old, I fought the heavyweight champion of the world three rounds to two with the idea that I wanted to win. I didn’t go in there trying to give a good account of myself. I wanted to win the fight and I still believe I can beat Stipe Miocic. But every day that passes, it doesn’t work in my favor.”

Ever decent, Cormier did not signal his retirement by leaving his gloves in the Octagon out of respect for Miocic.

“I lost the fight, that’s Stipe’s moment,” said Cormier. “He’s the champ. Why would I do that? Because a guy like me retires in the octagon there, that’s what people talk about.

“In the standing in the world, there’s a difference between Stipe and I. If I’m in there and I take my gloves off, it’s almost like stealing his thunder. I wasn’t going to do that. He won the fight.”

“I thought he won the fight. I don’t think with the way judging is you’re hopeful after, but the reality is he won the fight. He did a good job. He deserved to get his hand raised on that night. He won the fight.”

“All these young guys, they just continue to improve and they continue to train and get better and they stay younger – they stay a lot younger. Even when Jones and I fought the first time. I was 35 years old. He was maybe 26, 25, something like that. Those guys are still young. Every day that goes by, my time just gets a little bit more in the rearview. I’m not going to be fighting anymore.

“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. Robbie today, gets beat 30-26 by Neil Magny fighting in the co-main event of a Fight Night card from those classic fights that he had with Rory. That sucks. He’s only 38. I am not saying Robbie Lawler should not be fighting, but at 41, what am I going to do next? Just go fight some random dude? Go be fodder for somebody to build their name off of, I don’t need that.”

Cormier hates to lose with a raging passion, and has always used losses to fuel his next camp. However, he no longer has to do so.

“I was very sad; I cried like always,” said Cormier. “I felt very sad and disappointed. I apologized to my coaches for not getting the job done. Apologized to my wife and kids and everybody that thought I was going to win the fight and have sacrificed so much for me to get ready for the fight.

“I started thinking to myself when I’m sulking, I started thinking to myself those reactions a lot of times were preparation for the next time. If I was so sad and I was crying because Jones beat me, I cried and I was sad because I wanted to ensure that it hurt so much that it would never happen again. Then I started thinking, there isn’t another one. There isn’t another ‘again.’ I needed to maybe process this one a little bit different.”

“I feel like I’m closing the door shut on this thing – it’s over. And I’m not sad about it. I’m not sad. I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss the training camps. I’m going to miss the fights. There’s nothing like a fight week, but you have to understand when it’s your time. I feel like it’s time.”

h/t Damon Martin for MMA Fighting