Daniel Cormier may just be weeks away from attempting to become a two-weight champion in the UFC, but once again it's hard for him to completely remove himself from his ongoing rivalry with Jon Jones.
Cormier (20-1, 1NC), who challenges Stipe Miocic (18-2) for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 226 on July 7 in Las Vegas, made an appearance on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show on Monday and wasted no time in putting some space between his upcoming opportunity and his old rival.
"That's what happens every time," the light heavyweight champion told Helwani. "I'm just done with the whole thing. I have an opportunity to go out there and make history. For me, everything tied to him [Jones] is irrelevant. It's like he's sticking his nose in a place where he truly doesn't belong right now because he's suspended."
Cormier was referencing Jones taking to social media to object to any speculation that Cormier might be considered the greatest of all time with a win over Miocic.
"This is much bigger than Jon Jones," said Cormier. "This is way bigger than him. I never thought that I'd be able to say that in my career -- that there could be something bigger. It's bigger because this is something that he didn't seem so open to doing."
Cormier, who turned 39 in March, has one eye on retirement. He plans to call time on his career by his 40th birthday. But he believes he can compete a few more times and has the perfect dance partners in mind.
"I think I can get two more, I can squeeze a couple more in," Cormier explained. "If I fight July 7th, I bet I can get one around November and then take a month off in December, and I can squeeze one in in the beginning of March. I can still fight."
His decision to retire before his 40th birthday did not come easily. "This decision is hard, and I always felt like I can push through just about anything, but I can still compete," he said. "I'm not getting on in the game because I don't have the skill to compete. It's a decision I made a long time ago, and I want to stick to it for my family."
He sees his future in the gane playing out like this:
"I beat Stipe Miocic, and this all depends on the UFC -- and Alexander Gustafsson may hate to hear this -- but I'd like to at some point fight Jones again and fight Brock Lesnar. Those are the two ideal end fights, but things don't always work out perfect. But I feel like that would be perfect. There's going to be a few guys pissed off about it, but oh well, they can enjoy fighting each other.
"These are just the two biggest fights that I could possibly have and nothing more. The Jones fight, that story writes itself. Brock Lesnar is just a chance to fight a guy that is a massive name. I think it would be a good fight to go out with."