Daniel Cormier had planned on walking away from MMA by his 40th birthday in March after one last superfight against World Wrestling Entertainment star Brock Lesnar, but it never materialized.
The fight against Lesnar never materialized as UFC President Dana White admitted recently that Lesnar’s head just wasn’t in it and that he made the right decision to retire and not return to MMA.
In an interview with TMZ, Cormier said he was disappointed that the much-anticipated fight fell through describing Lesnar as someone who he’s “always been a fan of.”
“I was disappointed,” Cormier admitted. “I wanted to fight Brock. I’ve known Brock for a long time. I’ve competed with Brock for a long time in wrestling, and I’ve always been a fan of his. And then we had that great moment out in UFC 226, so the build was going to be fun. But you know, you can only really worry about things that you can control, and I can’t control that he doesn’t want to fight anymore. He’s done.
“I know the UFC and Brock tried to make this happen. It just didn’t. So I appreciate all parties involved trying to get it done. But it just didn’t work, man.”
While the exact reason why Lesnar didn’t return to the UFC was never revealed, it was rumored that an agreement couldn’t be reached between the UFC and Lesnar’s management, who allegedly wanted a guaranteed flat fee for Lesnar to fight Cormier as a result of the UFC’s new pay-per-view deal with ESPN+.
“I don’t know exactly what it was,” Cormier said. “Honestly, I just think the WWE gave him such a great deal. Like, they really always take care of this guy. And ultimately, you get paid that much money to go and wrestle as opposed to fighting me… there’s no predetermined outcome [in MMA]. I’m going to try to kick your ass. So I think he made the smart decision.”