In an exclusive interview, the 41-year-old American MMA artist talks about his UFC career as he prepares to walk to the octagon for one last time this Sunday for a UFC 252 match against Stipe Miocic
other-sportsUpdated: Aug 14, 2020 00:51 IST
With a whopping 22 wins and just two loses in his entire UFC career, Daniel Cormier is undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters the sport has ever seen. And now, after holding records in multi-division championships and successfully defending it three-times, the 41-year-old American will walk to the octagon for one last time for a final UFC 252 match against Stipe Miocic, which will be aired live and exclusive at 7 30 am on Sunday, August 16, on Sony Ten 2, Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 3 channels. Speaking about his ‘one last dance’, he says, “I am excited and I feel pumped up. It has been a great training camp, very taxing and gruelling, but I had a good time.”
Cormier knows that this would be his last walk to the octagon as a fighter in UFC. So, does this add an emotional pressure on him? “I have always said that pressure is always there. You can’t put pressure on yourself if you don’t earn it. You earn it by putting yourself in situations in things you are trying to accomplish. So, when the moment comes, you don’t run from it, you embrace it. I earned this pressure and I like to live in it,” he says, adding, “When I walk to the octagon this time, my feeling is going to be the same. I am here to compete. I can’t walk in there thinking, ‘oh! This would be the last time I walk though the hall’. I am here to win a fight.”
Cormier admits that things have been “difficult” during this lockdown and that he had to “approach things differently”. “I have worked hard to be where I am today. Most of the training was done at home. I couldn’t go to the gym like before, but we got it done,” he shares. Cormier is known for his sense of humour and commentating. He has even made a few appearances in movies and TV shows over the years. Ask him about his post-retirement plans, and he says, “I want to do more TV and opportunities to get out in the world. I will try and expand my portfolio in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).”
Looking back, it all started back in the school days. Cormier, who is also a former Olympian, says that his “journey has been a dream”. “I never imagined to be here today. A two-time UFC heavyweight champion on my way out. I just tried out back in 2009, and it turned out to be much better than I ever could have imagined. I have been lucky to surround myself with some great people,” he signs off.