The UFC has served up the perfect farewell for Daniel Cormier, as UFC 235 comes weeks before his 40th birthday. And Brock Lesnar remains the goal.
Daniel Cormier made UFC 230’s main event into his kind of fight. He made the fight exactly what the pundits expected. He controlled Derrick Lewis. Utilized his wrestling. Made Lewis tap to a rear-naked choke. And in doing so, he became the first man to have held two titles, with defenses of each. In short, UFC 230 was Cormier’s night. Now, Brock Lesnar looms large.
Lesnar was not in attendance on Saturday night, as he had been when Cormier won the heavyweight crown. Yet his name was one everyone’s lips, as D.C. has made it known he intends to retire by his fortieth birthday in March. And still wants the wrestler before he’s done.
“Daniel Cormier, whether he’s at light heavyweight or heavyweight, is a tough guy to beat,” UFC President Dana White told reporters at the post-fight press conference in Madison Square Garden. “Whether you’re Lesnar or Stipe or Derrick Lewis or any of these other guys.”
With that in mind, there’s two names floating around Cormier as his self-imposed retirement date looms: Lesnar, and Jon Jones. And there may not be enough time left for both. Asked if he’d try to convince D.C. to stick around longer, White shot the idea down. “I’d never convince anybody to stick around,” he explained, reiterating statements from years gone by. “If somebody thinks they’re done, if it even crosses their mind that they’re done, you’ll never hear an argument out of me. When you say you’re done, you’re probably done.”
As for who Cormier will face, and when, White added “if I was a genie, I could tell you that. We gotta see how all this stuff plays out.” However, he suggested Cormier take some time off, get some family time in, given the champ has already fought three times this year.
As for Cormier himself, he seems to have a date in mind. UFC 235. The event was announced last night by the promotion, and will take place in Las Vegas on March 2.
“That could be the retirement fight for ol’ DC. That’s crazy, right? When you start to think about it,” Cormier said during his own portion of the post-fight press conference. “Talk about having an opportunity to go out on an all-time high, headlining in Vegas against Brock Lesnar before I turn forty, two weeks before my birthday, have my biggest fight. Yeah, it’s crazy.”
Whether it happens remains to be seen, but there’s a good chance we don’t see D.C. again until March, when he comes back for one last walk to the octagon against one of the biggest draws in UFC history.