Daniel Cormier would have appreciated to have hung up his gloves somewhat sooner.
One of the proficient fighters in UFC historical past, Cormier is considered one of solely three fighters to win and defend titles in a number of weight lessons. He retired in 2020 after his trilogy battle with Stipe Miocic, however wanting again, Cormier needs the trilogy by no means occurred.
“I can not practice to battle the way in which I wish to battle,” Cormier advised Ariel Helwani in MMA time🇧🇷 “Me preventing Stipe Miocic after his again surgical procedure, these two occasions, it wasn’t the identical battle. I could not battle! I ought to have stopped at 18. I ought to have stopped at 18. I ought to have retired after Derrick Lewis. Particularly after I had again surgical procedure. I used to be so severely restricted it was loopy. My wrestling exercises, I went from wrestling 30, 40 minute rounds and fights to doing ropes and leaping rope and doing wrestling strikes with out the bodily contact of wrestling. It was loopy. I could not battle like I needed…
“I had surgical procedure in December after Derrick Lewis. I screwed up my again the morning of the battle. I ought to have stated, ‘Thank God, I am out.’ I made that more money, I am nonetheless the champion – I do not suppose they’ve even taken the sunshine heavyweight belt from me but, as a result of Jones and [Alexander Gustafsson] fought on the finish of the 12 months. I might have performed it, however I simply did not.”
For years, Cormier has drawn a tough line in the direction of retirement on his fortieth birthday, nonetheless, as that date approached in 2019, he lastly selected to hold on, rematching Miocic at UFC 241, the place he misplaced by way of TKO within the fourth spherical. This led to the trilogy battle, the place Miocic gained by unanimous resolution in a aggressive match, with some minor controversy as a consequence of a poke within the eye from Miocic. Cormier would not suppose a lot of it, however claims that his rematch and trilogy towards Miocic confirmed his physique might not compete.
“I do not know if I nearly gained, actually,” Cormier stated. “I used to be profitable the primary spherical, so within the second spherical I used to be profitable, however then he knocked me out. Then within the third spherical he knocked me down and I am having to present a spherical to recuperate. Within the third spherical I used to be poked. Within the fourth spherical I gained the spherical, after which within the fifth spherical he stored profitable me over. He gained the battle, and I am not a type of guys who’s going to sit down right here and lie. Dude gained the battle. However, man would not have – I do not suppose he would have hit me after I was youthful and I used to be doing all the things. I used to be only a higher fighter.”
Ending his profession with two losses wasn’t the one unlucky results of persevering with to battle. The trilogy’s battle with Miocic came about on August 15, 2020, in the course of the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and UFC security protocols, which means that as a substitute of ending his profession in entrance of a packed Madison Sq. crowd, Backyard as double champion, as a substitute, Cormier’s closing battle came about in a virtually empty Apex area, with solely his spouse and longtime coach there.
“That was loopy. It was proper in the midst of the pandemic, with nobody there,” Cormier stated. “And that was the issue, nobody could possibly be there. My household, no person was there. No person has to go. They let [my wife] Cassandra and [my coach] Rudy in… It was simply them sitting in the midst of Apex and no person else, and it was them doing one thing for me due to what I had performed for the corporate.”
Whereas his profession did not find yourself precisely the way in which he needed, Cormier nonetheless had some of the spectacular careers in MMA historical past, and was inducted into the UFC Corridor of Fame in June alongside teammate and buddy Khabib Nurmagomedov.