"I've come to terms with everything."
Daniel Cormier, UFC's Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight champion, is nearing the end of his career and has set a goal of retiring by the time he is 40 in March. Coming off a Heavyweight title defense against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 this past weekend, Cormier has at least one more fight in him in 2019, but it doesn't look like it'll be against his longtime rival Jon Jones.
During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, DC explained that he doesn't "need" to face Jones a third time before calling it quits.
"I don't need [the Jones fight] anymore," Cormier said. "Sometimes you need things and sometimes you don't. ... I've come to terms with everything. Because he was gone so much, I had to remove myself from the situation so completely that it almost became not reality."
Jones, 31, defeated Cormier by unanimous decision in their first bout back at UFC 182 in January 2015. Jones also won the rematch at UFC 214 in July 2017 by way of third-round knockout, but the result was ruled a no-contest due to Jones' failed drug test. Cormier was reinstated as light heavyweight champion and went on to defeat Volkan Oezdemir by second-round TKO in January.
Jones will main event UFC 232 against Alexander Gustafsson on December 29 in Las Vegas, a rematch of their 2013 thriller that saw Jones win by unanimous decision to retain his light heavyweight belt.
Naturally, fans are hoping that DC and Jones III will be in the works for 2019, especially given their vicious back and forth on social media, but Cormier remains skeptical that Jones will progress through his USADA obligations without issues.
"Can I really trust that he's going to be back in the game?" Cormier asked. "History shows that there will probably be some sort of issue either before the Gustafsson fight or after the Gustafsson fight. We schedule a fight? There's definitely going to be an issue because there's always been an issue."
Instead, Cormier appears to be on track for a Heavyweight showdown against Brock Lesnar. According to MMA Junkie, DC has mentioned UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas as potential destination for the bout.