Daniel Cormier's Coach Thinks UFC Star Would Delay Retiring to Fight Jon Jones

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2020

Dana White, center, stands between Daniel Cormier, left, and Jon Jones during a UFC 200 mixed martial arts news conference, Wednesday, July 6, 2016, in Las Vegas. Cormier and Jones are scheduled to fight in a light heavyweight championship fight at UFC 200 on Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Javier Mendez, the coach for UFC star Daniel Cormier, believes the former two-division champion would delay his retirement for an opportunity at a third fight with Jon Jones.

Mendez spoke with ESPN's Brett Okamoto about the potential of a second straight trilogy fight for Cormier, who's scheduled for a rubber match with Stipe Miocic at UFC 252 next Saturday:

ESPN MMA @espnmma

If the price is right, Daniel Cormier's coach believes he would put retirement on hold to fight Jon Jones after #UFC252 šŸ¦“šŸ’° (via @bokamotoESPN) https://t.co/to4hqOtIC2

In June, the 41-year-old Louisiana native announced he was planning to retire from MMA, regardless of the result in the heavyweight title clash with Miocic.

His intense rivalry with Jones will always be mentioned while discussing his terrific career, however, and it's no surprise they're still being linked in the final stages of DC's career.

Cormier told Damon Martin of MMA Fighting the two will never be best friends but that he respects the battles he's had with Jones inside the Octagon.

"I do respect him as a competitor. I never said I didn't," he said. "That's where it gets all confused when they talk about this thing between him and I. I never not respected him as a competitor. It was all the other stuff I had a problem with. I never did that. If you're an honest guy, which I try to think I am, you tell the truth. You can respect a person for their skills. I do respect those skills."

Jones won their first meeting by unanimous decision in January 2015. He knocked out Cormier in a July 2017 rematch, but the result was overturned after he tested positive for a steroid, Turinabol, before the fight.

It seems unlikely Cormier is going to alter his retirement plans, especially if he suffers a second straight loss to Miocic next week that would raise questions about his ability to continue contending for titles.

Perhaps one more clash with Jones is the singular fight that could get him to change his mind. At least Mendez thinks so.