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10th Jul 2018

Daniel Cormier’s next title defence may not actually come against Brock Lesnar

He added a very surprising name to his short list of potential opponents

Ben Kiely

Enjoy Daniel Cormier while you can because he’s not long for this game.

After March 2019, Daniel Cormier will be retired from MMA. That’s the promise he made to his family. Once he reaches 40, he’s bowing out for good.

There are eight months left in the UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion’s career. That leaves room for a maximum of two more fights. Unfortunately for the greatest UFC champion ever, Stipe Miocic, it looks like he won’t be getting his chance to exact revenge for that first-round knockout in UFC 226’s headliner.

DC basically shot down that request on social media on Monday night.

Likewise, top heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes will likely miss out on a shot at the champ champ.

The 27-year-old has racked up a six-fight unbeaten run inside the Octagon which includes wins over legendary fighters Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt. His only loss ever came via doctor’s stoppage against Francis Ngannou in his UFC debut.

However, Cormier has made it clear that he doesn’t want to fight any heavyweight not named Brock Lesnar. This has left ‘Razor’ understandably upset.

Dropping back down?

It seems very unlikely that the UFC would jeopardise a prizefight as lucrative as DC vs Lesnar, but the champion revealed on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show that Lesnar may not be his next opponent. He confirmed that the WWE superstar will be his next heavyweight title defence, but he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of defending his other strap.

“Maybe the Lesnar fight gets pushed to Super Bowl weekend or something. Maybe that fight gets pushed and I just knock one in at light heavyweight before. That’s how you manoeuvre around that – Brock Lesnar will get his. Brock Lesnar will be the next heavyweight I fight. Brock Lesnar is not guaranteed to be my next fight if that makes sense.”

He will be keeping an eye on the fight between Volkan Oezdemir and Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 227. Although he admitted that the victor would need to ‘do something special’ to garner his attention. Surprisingly, he cited former UFC and Pride champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua as a potential opponent.

“Maybe I will fight Shogun. That would be good.”

Maybe I’ll go fight Shogun. No, serious! Maybe I’ll go fight Shogun because Shogun’s won a lot of fights in a row. You know what? That’s who I want to fight, Shogun Rua.”

If the Brazillian beats Anthony Smith in Hamburg this month, he could end up being Cormier’s last ever 205 lb opponent. Not bad for a man who’s 9-8 in his last 17 fights. Albeit, he’s riding a three-fight win streak.

“If Shogun wins, I want to fight Shogun. That’s who I’m fighting. I will go fight Shogun because he is a legend. He’s a great guy. I will go fight Shogun and then I will fight Brock Lesnar because Jones isn’t going to be back, I don’t think. I am at peace with that.”

Another interesting thing about Shogun is he was the man Jones defeated to win the 205 lb strap. At the time, ‘Bones’ became the youngest UFC champion ever.