Daniel Cormier had a brutal and physically draining five round fight with Alexander Gustafsson last weekend at UFC 192, and it was the kind of fight that has the 36-year-old wondering how many more times he’ll put himself through that. However, Cormier said this week that there are two fights he needs for himself before he’s ready to walk away from the sport.
“It’s very hard to think about that stuff right now, because it’d seem easy to say, ‘You know what, I don’t really need this anymore. Financially, I’m fine. I’ve got a job that pays me well outside of the Octagon. I don’t need it,'” Cormier commented in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “You start thinking like that, man, the other side starts to look pretty good.
“So I’ll wait until my body starts to feel better and I feel good to know. But I know that I’ve got at least two fights that I have to have before I would ever retire anyways, so it’s no good. The next fight, when I beat Jones. And then that third fight when him and I fight again. Jones and I will fight twice again, so until him and I fight two more times, I’m not going anywhere.”
As to Jones’ post-fight Instagram videos this weekend, Cormier says he hopes it was nothing more than light-hearted jabs and not a sign that Jones is going right back to his old ways.
“I’m just going to say, I hope that he was having fun,” Cormier commented. “I just hope he was just having fun and doing it knowing exactly what he was doing. Because if his thing is to do exactly what he was doing before, then how do we really expect this young man to change very much? So I hope he was doing it purposefully and saying, ‘guys, I can still rip you a little bit,’ rather than that just being who he is at his core and he can’t change it. Because like I said, if this situation here didn’t really clarify things for Jon, then Jon’s got some real issues.
“But let’s hope that these things got clarified so that this guy can get back to doing what he’s great at doing, and that’s fighting. I want to fight him. I want to get back in the Octagon with that man, and I want to give people the fight they deserved to see from us the very first time. I want to give them five rounds of what they saw in rounds one, two, and three of Jon and I last time.”
Penick’s Analysis: Cormier’s getting Jones next, it’s just a matter of the UFC officially re-instating the former champ and setting a date. If Cormier can pull off the win, they’ll have a third fight likely right after that given the circumstances surrounding the matchups. Of course, it’s been just nine months since Cormier was clearly beaten by Jones, but he’s going to have his chance to avenge that sooner than would have been possible had Jones not been stripped of the belt.