SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/5: Cormier may change retirement plans, Dillashaw wants to be first triple-champ, Pettis moving up to welterweight

By Cole Henry, mmatorch Contributor

Daniel Cormier (photo credit Joe Camporeale © USA Today Sports)

Javier Mendez thinks Daniel Cormier might change his retirement plans

Daniel Cormier stated some time ago that he would be retiring from his hugely successful MMA career in the early part of 2019. He laid out a set of plans and up to this point has not said that he will change them but his coach, Javier Mendez thinks there’s a chance. Mendez recently spoke with MMAFighting and stated that he believes Dana White to be very persuasive.

“If Dana had his way, there’d be three left. And you know what, Dana has a pretty good way of persuading people, I like Dana, so I don’t know — we may see two or three [more fights]. I don’t know, I think so. I think Dana has a way of making things good for DC and making it right, so yeah, possibly. I wouldn’t be surprised.”

Cormier has stated that he would like to retire by his 40th birthday which will come this March. If he sticks to that date its hard to see him competing more than one more time but perhaps Mendez is right, and Cormier can be talked into sticking around. But Cormier is a successful wrestling coach, and UFC commentator so he already has his post-fight life lined up. The question is whether or not that’s enough to keep him out of the cage.

TJ Dillashaw: Three Division Champion?

TJ Dillashaw is already the UFC Bantamweight Champion and he has the opportunity to add the Flyweight Championship to his collection as well when he faces Henry Cejudo later this month. But according to Dillashaw himself, he may look to add more gold to his mantle after that. On a recent Instagram Live video, Dillashaw pointed out that fans seem to want him to move up and face featherweight king Max Holloway. Dillashaw has competed at featherweight in the past and in the video claimed to be open to the idea. Dillashaw will of course first have to get through Cejudo, who is coming off a win over Demetrious Johnson, but if he does manage that perhaps he could then attempt to become the first three division champion in UFC history.

Anthony Pettis the Welterweight?

The case of Anthony Pettis is a strange one. It’s been nearly half a decade since he was king of the lightweights and so much has changed for him and the sport since that time. Since losing his belt in 2015 we have seen Pettis do all sorts of things to try getting his groove back but up to this point he has had mixed results. He is 3-6 since his last successful title defense, and after a failed stint at featherweight, Pettis is back at lightweight but still, his results have been mixed. Perhaps a bit unsatisfied with his recent lightweight performances it seems as though Pettis is considering a move up. Pettis recently expressed some interest in moving up to welterweight and specifically has set his sites on Stephen Thompson. Thompson has also expressed interest in a fight so if all goes well, we may be getting a very exciting welterweight matchup sometime in the future.

Saturday Notebook

-Bellator MMA resigned Sergei Kharitonov, Vadim Nemkov and Anatoly Tokov to contract extensions. All three fighters have enjoyed success so far in the Bellator cage.

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