Daniel Cormier not planning to return to the UFC until 2018

Daniel Cormier is taking some time off before returning to the Octagon

Daniel Cormier is once again the UFC light heavyweight champion but that doesn’t mean he’s planning on booking his return to action any sooner than expected.

While Cormier has taken back the 205-pound title after Jon Jones was stripped following a positive drug test for steroids, the 38-year old former Olympian still suffered a knockout in their fight and that will require some time off to recover.

Add to that, Cormier essentially took back-to-back fights when he defeated Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in April before turning around to take on Jones in July.

“I feel better. I feel much better,” Cormier said when speaking to the Fight Society podcast. “I’m still just hanging out. I’m not doing any training right now. That’s partly due to just needing a break. I fought in April and then I fought again in July so I was fighting quite a bit. So part of that is that, but I’m doing better. Physically I’m doing better.”

Cormier says even if he didn’t suffer the knockout to Jones in a fight that was eventually overturned to a no contest due to the positive drug test, he probably wasn’t planning on booking another fight in 2017 anyways.

According to Cormier, he was excited to spend some time with his family after the fight in July and his expectation was always to return in 2018.

“I think the truth is I was going to [take time off] anyway,” Cormier said. “I knew after the fight that it was going to be a little while before you guys saw me fight again. Just because I fought in April and then I fought again in July. I didn’t have much time in between those fights and my training camps are freaking intense. So I was probably looking at fighting at the beginning of next year anyways. That’s probably what’s still going to happen.

“Just relax, spend some time with my family, do my TV stuff and just chill. You deserve that. After a while you need a break, you need time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I’ve worked long and hard to get to where I am today and I’m going to enjoy it a little bit. Just enjoy everything that I’ve accomplished and just enjoy my greatest accomplishments, which are my family. Just sit back and spend some time with them. Coach my son’s football. Go to my daugher’s gymnastics.”


When he’s not fighting, Cormier has taken on a couple of different roles on television including a co-hosting gig with “UFC Tonight” while also calling fights as part of the UFC’s broadcast team.

Just recently, retired middleweight contender Brian Stann stepped away from his commentating duties to focus on a new job outside of mixed martial arts, which meant the UFC would need new blood to fill in the spots he just vacated.

Cormier says he will be one of the people doing more commentary on UFC broadcasts following Stann’s exit, but he wants to make it clear that he’s not trying to replace him in any way, shape or form.

“I’m going to be doing more probably,” Cormier confirmed about his commentary work. “You don’t try to replace Brian Stann, the guy was amazing at what he did, but all I can do is kind of bring my style to this. Bring my personality to it and just try to really show people what I’m seeing in these fights and hopefully they enjoy how I verbalize it to them.”

With Cormier out until at least 2018, the UFC hasn’t decided on any other marquee light heavyweight matchups while he’s on the sidelines although top five ranked fighter Volkan Oezdemir has mentioned that he would like to face former title contender Alexander Gustafsson later this year.

Considering the status of the division right now, Gustafsson vs. Oezdemir could be the best possible fight the UFC could book until Cormier is ready to return.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.