UFC 230 is now available on Amazon Prime.
Daniel Cormier is nearing the end of his decorated mixed martial arts career with the announcement that the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight and heavyweight champ will be hanging up his gloves for good by March 2019. However, it is anyone’s guess who the former Olympic wrestler will face after defending his heavyweight strap against Derrick Lewis this weekend, with some high-profile opponents on the horizon.
The 39-year-old accepted a short-notice fight against the heavy-hitting Derrick Lewis this weekend at UFC 230 in what will be his first title defense at heavyweight since knocking out Stipe Miocic in July to win the title.
“DC” and World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Brock Lesnar are rumored to be meeting early next year after the pair’s in-cage confrontation back in July. Lesnar entered the Octagon after the fight and shoved the new champ in typical WWE style, setting up a potential huge payday for Cormier in the future.
However, with Cormier’s long-time rival Jon Jones returning from his 15 month suspension for a doping violation, some are wondering if a trilogy fight would tempt the champion to go back down to the 205 pound division. Cormier appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show this week to talk about his future in the sport and said he would definitely return to the light heavyweight division, but only to face Jones.
“I will only go to 205 to fight against Jones. It’s the only person I will go back down for. If Gustafsson wins this fight, 205 means nothing to me anymore. The only guy I will go down to fight is Jones,” he said.
In terms of the 205-pound picture, Anthony Smith has put his hand up to take on the winner of Jones vs [Alexander] Gustafsson after his submission win over Volkan Oezdemir last weekend. However, Cormier said that if Smith truly wants to challenge the best of the best in the division he would need to work on his cardio as that is something that will be exposed in these championship fights.
“He had to get carried out of the Octagon after three rounds?” Cormier said. “That’s crazy. If you get that tired, you have no chance against me. Honestly, if he fights Jones and he gets that tired, he is in trouble. You cannot get that tired.
“If I have any advice for Anthony Smith going forward; Jones, Gustafsson and myself, you have got to be pushing the cardio because we are going to be pushing the whole time,” Cormier added. “Gustafsson made me work for 25 minutes, Jon Jones made me work for 25, and then 15 minutes the last time we fought. You cannot be able to go 10 or 12 minutes and get that tired, you just can’t.
“He’s got to really get himself, get used to or better at going at a long fight,” he concluded. “When you get to the top of 205, they are the best in the entire world regardless of weight class. You better be ready. He fought well against Volkan, but that type of performance will not get it done against any of us.”
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