Heading in to UFC 252, Daniel Cormier seemed all set to retire. He was saying all the right things, making all the right moves. But, for some pundits, fans, and even UFC brass, the idea that he might walk away – win or lose – still seemed like it was all smoke and no fire.
“If Cormier wins in spectacular fashion, this will not be his last fight,” Dana White told reporters ahead of UFC 252. “And knowing him the way that I do, if he loses, then it will be, ‘I can’t go out like this.’”
Unfortunately for Cormier, he did lose. And the fight wasn’t without controversy, either. Just the kind of result that kept White sticking by his earlier prediction, that the former two division champ wouldn’t be willing to call it quits off that kind of performance. But, in a statement released via social media, it certainly doesn’t sound like DC has any plans to come back to the cage. At least not any time soon.
“Thank you all for the love and support,” Cormier wrote in a message posted to Instagram. “Not what I wanted or expected but it is what it is. Congrats to @stipemiocic on a fantastic fight, was an honor and pleasure to share the octagon with you for 50 minutes. Boy did we give ‘em a show everytime. To my team: I love you all to death, you’ve made so many sacrifices. I hope I made you guys proud. Salina and the kids: thank you for being my motivation. To all the fans: I love you so much. You guys push me to try and be great. To @danawhite and the @ufc: I have loved every minute. Thank you for giving me the opportunity. Been a helluva ride, huh?”
If Cormier truly is all done with MMA, he’ll walk away from his career in the Octagon with a 22-3 (1 NC) record—having captured championship titles in every MMA organization he ever competed in.
Outside of his brutally close light heavyweight title bouts against Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, the now 41-year-old’s pinnacle achievement in MMA will stand has his late career surge in 2018, when the former Olympian moved up to challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title for the first time—defeating Miocic via early KO. Still holding the light heavyweight belt entering that fight, Cormier became the UFC’s second ever ‘double champ,’ and the first man to hold both the light heavyweight and heavyweight belts concurrently.
While he may have now firmly ceded the title of ‘Greatest UFC Heavyweight Of All Time’ to Stipe Miocic, there’s no doubt that Cormier’s career resume ranks among the best in MMA history. Hopefully retirement suits him just as well.