Daniel Cormier says he is prepared for his retirement bout to go ahead inside an empty arena so long as his family is there to see it.
The former two-division World champion was due to face Stipe Miocic in a trilogy fight for the UFC heavyweight title, however, the bout has been thrown into disrepute after the ongoing pandemic paved the way for a global sporting shutdown.
Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Cormier admitted he is prepared to retire in front of an empty stadium so long as his family is allowed to attend.
“It’s going to end that way,” Cormier said. “Empty arena and if it’s at the (UFC) Apex, I think the cage is smaller. It’s like the Ultimate Fighter cage, so that’s a whole other fight. It’s a smaller cage than the one we fight in for pay-per-views. But yeah, I’ll go fight this guy in the empty arena. I want to fight him.
“I don’t know how it would work with my family. That is the one thing I would want. I would want my wife and kids to experience that last one, but I don’t know if that’s even gonna be possible if it’s done in that way. So, a little bit different, a little different though.”
Cormier added that he thought the fight would go ahead this summer, however, he knows that the ongoing situation will lend itself to the fight being even bigger when it eventually does happen.
— Jon Realejo (@BloodyCanvasJon) April 20, 2020
“I was pretty confident that it was gonna happen at the time in my head that I know, but right now I don’t know when in the summer it’s gonna happen. But I just can feel that when it does, it’s gonna be bigger than it was ever gonna be. . . More good fights, more people at home watching. It’s gonna be the perfect way to go out – on top, as the man.”
Elsewhere, Cormier praised Tony Ferguson after El Cucuy made a championship weight of 155 lbs last week despite knowing that his UFC lightweight title fight was not going ahead.
Cormier described Ferguson’s antics as a “boss move”.
“Tony Ferguson, different cat. Tony Ferguson stepping on the scale at 155 — that tells you how disciplined this man is,” Cormier said. “How disciplined is Tony Ferguson to get all the way down to the championship weight with nothing to gain That’s a boss move. I know Tony and I don’t have the best relationship, but that is a boss move.”
Cormier added that the decision highlights the mental toughness of Ferguson while also claiming that his UFC rivals, Khabib Nurmagomedov [who is Cormier’s training partner] as well Ireland’s Conor McGregor would not have done that Ferguson did.
“More than anything, it speaks to the mental toughness of Tony Ferguson,” Cormier added. “That’s really what that is. Now I don’t think anyone should question that and I believe that if they do, it’s misguided. It’s very misguided because the dude did something that most fighters won’t do.
“I’m telling you this right now, I love Khabib, but he wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t make the weight for nothing. He wouldn’t suffer through that for no reason. Conor McGregor, he wouldn’t suffer through that for no reason. Conor was willing to say, ‘Hey, great job Tony, put the other guy on the scale.’ But he wouldn’t have done that himself. He wouldn’t have gone down to weight for nothing.
“All your favourite fighters — Israel Adesanya. Even the guy that doesn’t cut that much weight wouldn’t suck himself all the way down to scratch for no reason. Because mentally, it’s so tough to do that, and guys don’t do that. Tony Ferguson just did that. That’s a big deal.”