After Daniel Cormier made news and retained his UFC light heavyweight world championship on Saturday night at UFC 220, he upped the ante and kept his name in the bright lights on Monday. On The MMA Hour, DC talked about his future in the sport and set a hard retirement date in 2019. “Come March, I will have 12 months, at max, left.” “I’m going to be done by March 20, 2019. I won’t be fighting again.” “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.”
Cormier has been a staple of the UFC roster for years and is one of the greatest to ever step foot inside an octagon. He holds a 20-1 record and has been the UFC light heavyweight champion since May of 2015. His one loss was at the hands of Jon Jones at UFC 182. At UFC 220 on Saturday night, Cormier retained his title with a TKO win against Volkan Oezdemier.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This is huge news as Daniel Cormier is one of the biggest stars that the UFC has. Not only is he a star from a money generating perspective, but he is one of the biggest ambassadors that the UFC and the sport of MMA has as well. Losing him will be costly. That said, Cormier has had a tremendous career and deserves to ride off into the sunset whenever he chooses. With a year left in his career, the question becomes who will he fight within that final year. Alexander Gustafsson and Stipe Miocic will be names to watch.
MONDAY NEWS NOTEBOOK
–Alternates have been announced for the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Scott Coker announced at the Bellator 192 post-fight press conference that the alternates for the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix are confirmed. Cheick Kongo and Javy Ayala are the first two fighters that will get a crack at the tournament should one of the original announced fighters go down due to injury. At Bellator 192, Chael Sonnen advanced in the tournament by defeating Quinton Jackson.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Those names are why tournaments like this one are so risky. They aren’t intriguing and if either are summoned, the tournament will take a dramatic hit in terms of interest. Fingers crossed that the field stays as originally planned.
–Bellator 196 to feature Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir. The Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix will continue at Bellator 196. Fedor Emelianenko will take on Frank Mir with the winner moving on to face Chael Sonnen.
–Women’s fight added to UFC 223. Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Felice Herrig in a strawweight bout will take place at UFC 223. Officials confirmed the report and Herrig reported the news on her Instagram account. UFC 223 is headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson and will feature another fight from the strawweight division in Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the UFC women’s strawweight championship.
–Rory MacDonald facing a six month medical suspension. Due to damage sustained in his welterweight championship win over Douglas Lima, Rory MacDonald has been hit with a six month medical suspension. The suspension is mainly due to MacDonald’s injured leg which Lima attacked relentlessly throughout the fight.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This fight was an absolute war. It was as brutal as brutal can get and because of that brutality, I’m happy MacDonald will be sidelined. He needs it.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS NEWS: WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/17: Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov set for UFC 223 in Brooklyn (w/ Heydorn’s analysis)