Daniel Cormier: I’m taking a break, I deserve a break
Since the start of 2015, Daniel Cormier has fought nearly 13 full UFC championship rounds, against the very best in the light heavyweight division. At the end of that brutal marathon, he finds himself the reigning and defending champion at 205 pounds.
With stripped former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones training hard for a return and his not receiving any prison time for a hit-and-run he committed, but still officially under a UFC suspension, the future of the division is a bit up in the air right now. Cormier certainly wants to fight Jon Jones, and avenge his close decision loss to his bitter rival, but he isn’t in a rush to fight anyone else.
In fact, after fighting Jones, Anthony Johnson, and Alexander Gustafsson in succession, and with virtually no rest in between, the two-time Olympian needs some time to heal and rest. "I have no idea [when Jones will return] — all I know is that I’m taking a break," Cormier said on the latest episode of Kenny Florian and Jon Anik’s podcast.
"I fought ‘Rumble’ Johnson, and I fought Alexander Gustafsson. I fought the toughest guys the division has to offer — all in 10 months, at 36 years old. I need a little break."
In fact, Cormier has been one of the most active top fighters in the UFC, since he entered the promotion just a couple years ago. The television host, and father has certainly earned some R&R, and he plans on taking it.
"I fought seven times in two years in the UFC," he explained.
"I need some time to sit back and spend with my family … I want to take a break, and I think I’ve earned it."
Though Ryan Bader is campaigning for a title shot after winning five straight, and he and Cormier have exchanged heated trash talk and have had to be physically separated at least once in public, UFC president Dana White has said that Jones will get an immediate title shot upon his return. "Whenever he gets his stuff together, he’d come right back and fight for the title," he said, months ago, of Jones.
Cormier has already begun a campaign to rematch Jones at UFC 200, in July, in Las Vegas. That date would give him some months to heal, and a couple more to improve, before heading into a training camp for that mega-fight.
Time, and likely lots of behind-the-scenes negotiations will tell what ends up happening, here. For now, two things are clear — Cormier vs. Jones II is the biggest fight in the light heavyweight division, and Daniel Cormier should be able to take time off if he wants.