Light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier successfully defended his title against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220 on Saturday night, and though he still feels he has a few fights left in him, he’s now starting to lay out his retirement plans.
“Come March, I will have 12 months, at max, left,” the 38-year-old Cormier told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour show. “I’m going to be done by March 20, 2019. I won’t be fighting again.”
We’ve seen fighters in the past who have claimed they are going to retire, only to change their minds as the date draws closer, but ‘DC’ insists that won’t be the case for him as he wants to put his family first.
“I’m done, I’m going to be done at 40. I won’t be back. There won’t be jumping around or ‘I’m done until I get the right type of fight.’ It’ll be over. I’m not going to be doing this anymore. I’ve said time and time again that I’ve lived a great life in sports, I’ve loved every moment of it. My family has revolved around sports. Not only my family, Selena and the kids, but also my mom and my dad. I’ve been the center of the athletic universe for my family for a really, really long time, and it’s time for that to be little Daniel and Marquita. It’s time for them to be the center of our athletic competition, and I just want to be one of those crazy dads that gets to yell on the sideline and just go crazy and brag about his kids.
“Like, ‘Yeah, my kid won this tournament, my kid won this gymnastics competition.’ That stuff excites me, man. I’ve always wanted that, and I’ve had my time. Since I was 15 years old, I’ve been wrestling international competitions and going to the Olympics and the NCAA championships, and fighting in Strikeforce, UFC, so I’ve had my time. I’ve lived a lifetime in the spotlight. It’s okay, I can be done with it when I’m 40 years old.”
Cormier has also made it clear that recent talk that he might move back up to heavyweight isn’t likely to happen before he hangs up his gloves.
“Look at the size difference between me and these dudes,” Cormier said. “They just want to see me fight these big guys. So, that’s not on my radar right now, you know? I’m just going to try to figure out what’s going on with my hand and see what’s next. It’s not like I’m fighting small guys. Alexander Gustafsson could be a heavyweight, so it’s not like fighting at heavyweight is the only way to fight big guys. I mean, Gus is a big guy.
“So yeah, I’m just going to hang out right now and see what’s next, and see who presents themselves as the next challenge.”