DC’s Final Hurrah?

With UFC 214 just hours away, one has to wonder if it’s the last time we’ll see Daniel Cormier in competition.  Cormier is 38-years-old and has admitted the difficulty he endures when cutting weight and is essentially the #2 light heavyweight mixed martial artist behind Jon Jones.  While he is defending hit UFC title tonight, the pressure is on him to prove he can achieve the one thing he’s failed to do in his MMA career.  If he can’t defeat Jones tonight, will he decide to hang the gloves up or attempt to work his way back up the light heavyweight ladder once again?

Cormier began his MMA career at 31 years of age, which is a relatively late age to get into the face punching game, but it’s also beneficial given that he is not as seasoned as the average 38-year-old fighter.  This will be the third year that “DC” is fighting at 205 lbs and his sixth bout at that weight and so far it appears to be taking a toll on his body.  His physical appearance during the weigh ins on Friday was probably the best we’d seen Cormier look, but unlike his last fight against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, he is fighting the only man to defeat him and his nemesis.  Would Cormier be motivated enough to cut weight and continue to train at a high level for any light heavyweight not named Jon Jones?

The possibility of moving up to heavyweight is present for both Jones and Cormier following tonight’s results, which could mean we’ll see Cormier extend his career further.  Previously, Cormier opted to avoid heavyweight out of his respect to his friend and teammate, Cain Velasquez.  That was three years ago when Velasquez was the reigning UFC heavyweight champion, today is a different story.  Velasquez fought twice since Cormier’s move to light heavyweight while “DC” has fought seven times, eight if you count tonight.  Unlike Cormier, Velasquez is a very seasoned 35-years-old and his return timetable is still up in the air as of today.  Cormier is officially the UFC’s light heavyweight champion and the interest of becoming a two weight UFC champion has skyrocketed across the UFC roster since Conor McGregor pulled it off at UFC 205.

Cormier is no stranger to facing and overcoming competitors who outweigh him, in fact he’s made it look quite easy in the past.  Cormier has revealed that he intends to defeat Jones twice, and if he manages to pull it off, then what?  Jimi Manuwa perhaps?  Or maybe Stipe Miocic if he is still holding the UFC gold.  He can still compete at heavyweight without necessarily getting in Velasquez’s way, but then again a fight between Cormier and Stipe Miocic sounds pretty exciting.

A lot of pieces have to fall in place for Cormier to move back up to heavyweight, but if you consider the odds, it’s clear that Jones is favored to win and for good reason.  The results of the first bout between both men crushed Cormier and should he lose again, it’s worth betting he doesn’t have a definitive plan if his goals don’t work out.  If tonight is the last time folks get to watch Cormier compete, it has been quite the honor in watching an olympic wrestler grow into a championship level mixed martial artist before our eyes.

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