Last year, Daniel Cormier announced that he would like to retire from the UFC and MMA as a whole by the time he turns 40 years old, which is on March 20 this year.
Between his announcement back in June and March, DC also stated that he would like to fight a few more times before calling it a day, including against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar.
However, a series of injuries throughout 2018 has meant the current UFC Heavyweight Champion has been forced to change his plans to fulfill his desires.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, Cormier stated that he will not be retiring in March anymore, and will instead hold off hanging up the gloves until later in 2019 so that he can fight vs Lesnar.
He said during the interview that he had been suffering back injuries over the years, but three title fights in 2018 took its toll. He also had a thumb injury which many thought would keep him out of fighting Derrick Lewis at UFC 230, but he still competed anyways.
DC said, via MMA Fighting: “The thumb’s fine. I think a lot of times you get hurt in so many ways, but then when one thing overtakes the other one, you almost forget about it and then you start to focus on the back and getting the back better, and then the hand.
“My doctor said I’ve got arthritis in my wrist, that’s why my wrist bothers me all the time, so there’s nothing I’m really gonna be able to do about that. That’s just something I have to deal with, but the back has been the focus lately."
He continued: “I just don’t know if I’m gonna do what I did in New York again, where I have to fight where I’m not 110 percent.
"Because I truly do feel like the reason my back went out was because I went from zero to trying to prepare for a fight in three weeks and I can’t really do that. I need those first four weeks of a pre-training camp just to prepare my body to go through a full eight-week camp.
"I used to do 12 weeks, I did all that in four and that’s why my body started falling apart on me. 12 weeks and I’m not at 100 percent, so say, I don’t know, spring? Summer? I don’t know. Not exactly sure yet.”
Lesnar or Miocic
Cormier stated that UFC officials did what they could to accommodate his retirement plans, attempting to book him for UFC 235 on March 2. However, he “wasn’t able to do it” because of “the injuries and the recovery.” No opponent was locked in for the fight.
The UFC Heavyweight Champion still has eyes on a fight with Lesnar, but he is also open with the idea of facing Stipe Miocic again inside the Octagon.
He said: “I think maybe Lesnar next would be the fight. And again as I’ve always said, yeah I’ll fight Stipe again. It’s just the same exact thing.
“We’re not waiting for Brock Lesnar. Because of my injuries, I’m just not available to fight. If I was available to fight, I probably would have fought Stipe already. But I’m just not available to fight right now so we’ll see what happens with Lesnar and then we’ll address what’s after that.”
Cormier competed three times in 2018, winning on each occasion. He defended the UFC Light Heavyweight title in January at UFC 220 vs Volkan Oezdemir, before winning the Heavyweight title vs Miocic at UFC 226. He then went on to successfully defend that title vs Lewis at UFC 230.