Daniel Cormier, who is fresh off his UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony, didn’t completely shut the door on a possible comeback. According to the former two-division champion, he currently doesn’t want to fight again, but there would be one situation that could draw him back in.
“I said this when I retired, I said I’m only going to fight for championship belts,” Cormier said in a Twitter Q&A (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “But it’s like, I don’t deserve a heavyweight championship fight. Stipe [Miocic] is not the champ. He beat me the last couple times. I don’t deserve a shot at the heavyweight title. If I was ever going to fight again — and which, I don’t want to — I would have to go all the way back to 205 pounds.
“Why? Let me tell you why. Because I didn’t lose. Remember, I vacated the title whenever I didn’t want to go back down there, when [Jon] Jones was going to fight [Alexander] Gustafsson. So because I vacated the title, now maybe there is some potential in, ‘Hey Dana [White], you think I could fight Jiri Prochazka for the title?’ Especially with your name recognition and what you’ve become outside of the fight game, maybe there’s some value in that.
“I mean, if I had the desire to fight and I wanted to try to accomplish something great one more time, then it would require [going back down to light heavyweight], because there just is no title fight at heavyweight,” he said.
“If it ever happens, it better happen soon,” he said. “I’m 44 years old in March. But hey, Randy Couture won the heavyweight championship at 45, so it’s not impossible.”
Cormier’s final four bouts before retiring in 2020 was at heavyweight, and he last competed at light heavyweight back in 2018.
He was already struggling to cut to 205 lbs five years ago — even resorting to illegal tricks to make weight that he only recently admitted to — so it’d be a tougher challenge now that he’s 43 and inactive. That’s probably the biggest roadblock to this whole idea, aside from his own admission that he currently doesn’t even really want to return.
Either way, perhaps the biggest take away from scenarios like this is that maybe the UFC shouldn’t induct people into the Hall of Fame so soon. After all, history has showed that “retirements” in combat sports are often temporary.