Daniel Cormier wants to ride out into the sunset on the heels of a decisive victory in his trilogy with Stipe Miocic at UFC 252.
Cormier spoke at the UFC 252 pre-fight press conference on Thursday. "DC" told reporters that retiring as UFC heavyweight champion will put him in a class with the likes of Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning.
“In mixed martial arts, yes – but then it can put you right alongside the greatest sports athletes of all time,” Cormier said, per MMA Junkie. “Michael Jordan won with the Bulls when they beat the Jazz. Unfortunately, he came back; I won’t come back. Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl in his last season. It would put me in that type of sphere with the greatest athletes that have ever competed across any sport. So, when I win on Saturday, I will retire in that way.”
“I’m a guy with a big ego, and that would suck,” he continued. “I’ve got to be honest. To think there would be two guys in my career that were just better than me, and I had multiple chances to beat them, and I didn’t get it done... Yeah, it would suck.”
Cormier wants to go out on top, not as a preliminary bout stepping stone for the next generation.
“Most guys in my position, when they’re talking about being done, they’re on the prelims somewhere, or there for some young guy to beat and elevate themselves off their name,” Cormier stated. “That’s not me. I’m fighting to be the best in the world. So Saturday when I win, I’m the best in the world, but you’ve got to be comfortable walking away as the best in the world, or eventually, you’re going to end up on the prelims for somebody to beat you and build off your name. It’s just the way the game works.”
UFC 252 takes place from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, August 15. Keep up with Fightful for live coverage on the big card topped by Miocic vs. Cormier 3.