Daniel Cormier is no longer retiring in March, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the former double champion is setting up for a tilt with Brock Lesnar.
Cormier originally announced he’d like to retire by his 40th birthday at the end of March. But due to a variety of injuries, he announced on The MMA Hour that he’ll push back stepping away from the Octagon for good until he can fight again when he’s 100 percent.
The current heavyweight champion pointed to fighting Derrick Lewis in December at Madison Square Garden as the reason for his recent back injury, where he fought on short notice and prepared for the bout in just four weeks.
“I used to do 12 weeks. I did all that in four and that’s why my body started falling apart on me,” Cormier said. “Twelve weeks and I’m not at 100 percent, so say, I don’t know, spring? Summer? I don’t know. Not exactly sure yet.”
As for who’s next on Cormier’s list, he mentioned Lesnar or Stipe Miocic as possible targets for what could be his last UFC fight. Cormier made one point clear though — he’s not going to wait around for anyone.
“We’re not waiting for Brock Lesnar,” Cormier said. “Because of my injuries, I’m just not available to fight. If I was available to fight, I probably would have fought Stipe already. But I’m just not available to fight right now so we’ll see what happens with Lesnar and then we’ll address what’s after that.”
Cormier has won seven of his last eight fights, including a submission victory over Lewis in December and a knockout win against Miocic in July. The only fight he didn’t win was originally a loss to Jon Jones, but later ruled a no contest thanks to a USADA violation.
Lesnar re-entered the USADA drug testing pool back in July, meaning Lesnar could conceivably be eligible to return to the UFC any day now. Lesnar is rumored to be in contract negotiations with WWE, All Elite Wrestling and the UFC.