Daniel Cormier Says He Doesn't Need 3rd Jon Jones Fight Before Retirement

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2018

Daniel Cormier holds his belts after defeating Derrick Lewis by submission during the second round of a heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 230, early Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Daniel Cormier, who retained his heavyweight belt with a victory over Derrick Lewis during Saturday's UFC 230, isn't looking to fight Jon Jones for a third time before he retires.

"I don't need [the Jones fight] anymore," Cormier said on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show (h/t Greg Rosenstein of ESPN.com). "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."

Rosenstein noted Cormier, 39, also said he is looking to end his MMA career by age 40.

While Jones beat Cormier both times they fought, the latter replaced him both times in the next fight for various reasons.

Jones won at UFC 182 in 2015 but had his belt stripped following his arrest for a hit-and-run accident that injured a pregnant woman. Cormier took his place and won the interim belt over Anthony Johnson.

They fought again at UFC 214 in 2017—only after their 2016 bout was canceled when Jones failed a drug test—and Jones won only to have the decision turned into a no-contest after he tested positive for Turinabol. Cormier beat Volkan Oezdemir after he was reinstated as light heavyweight champion.

"Can I really trust that he's going to be back in the game?" Cormier asked Helwani after so many previous issues. "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."

Jones will fight Alexander Gustafsson in December.

Cormier is one of the greatest fighters in MMA history with or without a victory over Jones, who is the only one to ever top him. The veteran sports a 22-1 record (plus the no-contest) and demonstrated age is not an issue when he won by second-round submission against Lewis on Saturday.

It was his third win of 2018 with victories over Oezdemir at UFC 220 in January and Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 in July.