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Coach Javier Mendez: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised’ if Daniel Cormier fought ‘two or three’ more times

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Daniel Cormier may be pushing 40, but he may still have a lot of fight left beyond March 2019.

UFC 230: Cormier v Lewis Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

There are two things you can almost always guarantee in MMA: fighters nixing or delaying retirement plans and Bruce Buffer yelling, “It’s time!” This story is about the former.

Daniel Cormier — formerly known as the champ champ — had plans to retire at the ripe age of 40. UFC President Dana White protested that decision and now it seems Cormier may indeed fight past the big four-zero. His head coach, American Kickboxing Academy’s Javier Mendez, recently told MMA Fighting that Cormier still has a few fights in him.

“If Dana had his way, there’d be three left. And you know what, Dana has a pretty good way of persuading people,” Mendez said. “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 confessed he was unsure about retiring when speaking to Luke Thomas on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour. Mendez is fully supportive of whatever Cormier decides. The AKA coach insists Cormier’s case is nothing like the countless fighters who forego plans of retirement for one last, often ill-advised, shot at glory.

“He’s not endangering his health, so for me, whatever he wants, I’m going to be onboard,” Mendez explained, noting how Cormier is well-aware of his limitations. “So if he tells me tomorrow, ‘I’m done,’ then I’ll tell you he’s done, but if he says, ‘I’m going to fight 10 more fights, Jav,’ let’s fight 10 more fights. This is DC’s train. I’m onboard, and I’m glad to be onboard, and I’ll ride it until he doesn’t want to be onboard.”

“For me, I love DC so much, that if DC says tomorrow, ‘Jav, I’m done,’ then I’m going to encourage him to be done. But if he says, ‘Jav, I want to fight again,’ then I’m going to be onboard with him,” he expressed. “I’m with whatever DC wants. I love that guy so much, he’s such a great team captain and a great individual and a great friend.”

In Mendez’s dream scenario, Cormier would lay to rest thoughts of fighting Jon Jones at light heavyweight and instead focus on one last big pay day against Brock Lesnar.

“I only want him to fight Brock, one fight, call it quits,” Mendez insisted. “He’s such an incredible coach, he’s an incredible analyst. Man, that guy is just made for TV. So, to me, he doesn’t need fighting. He doesn’t need it. So for me, I’m with whatever he wants to do, but if I had a choice I would say fight Brock and then call it quits.”

“That’s what I would do,” Mendez said. “But DC’s the boss, so he calls the shots.”