Daniel Cormier retiring by March? Think again, says UFC president Dana White.
Cormier, the UFC heavyweight champion, has said — dating back to over a year ago — he plans to retire when he turns 40, which happens in just a few months. But White said Saturday night after Jon Jones’ title win over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 that he expects “DC” to fight three more times.
“I was talking to Cormier during the Jones fight. He’s all fired up,” White said at the event’s post-fight press conference. “He was obviously very angry this week leading into this fight. There was talk from his camp about him retiring without another fight, and maybe he was just going to fight one more fight.”
White isn’t sure whether a trilogy between Cormier and Jones would take place at heavyweight or light heavyweight — in fact, he doesn’t even know if that fight will happen at all. But one thing is for sure: Cormier still has gas left in the tank, White said.
“You know me: I’m always the first to say when it’s time for somebody to retire,” White said. “Cormier’s the man — it is not time for Cormier to retire. There’s big fights out there for him that people care about.”
Cormier has not committed to fighting Jones a third time — he said a couple months ago he doesn’t need to do so to cement his legacy — and Jones wants to fight Cormier at 205 pounds, where he’s the new champion, not heavyweight. Throughout their ongoing exchanges on social media, however, Cormier and Jones have agreed on one thing: they still do not like each other — at all.
“Cormier will fight anybody. Cormier hates Jones so bad,” White said. “He was on a rampage this week, and he was being a bit of a drama mama this week. But I don’t blame him. They hate each other. When you hate somebody that bad, it brings the worst out in you.”
White is referring to Cormier relinquishing the 205-pound title on Friday, the day before Jones vs. Gustafsson 2. He was expected to be stripped of the title at the commencement of that long-awaited rematch.
Cormier was also not happy about Jones’ recent abnormal drug-test findings that came to light just a week before his title win. A trace amount of the same steroid metabolite he tested positive for in July 2017 was found in his system multiple times since August, but it was not a USADA violation because the UFC anti-doping partner determined the adverse findings were a result of last year’s ingestion.
UFC 232 was scheduled to take place in Nevada, but the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) would not license Jones to fight this past weekend due to the positive tests. The entire card was moved to California, whose commission was comfortable with licensing “Bones.”
UFC 232 took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California. It also featured Amanda Nunes’ historic win over Cris Cyborg.