Double champion Daniel Cormier revealed that the UFC made him an offer he couldn’t refuse to fight at UFC 230 on short notice.
Cormier, the current holder of the light heavyweight and heavyweight belts, will defend his heavyweight belt against Derrick Lewis on November 3 despite the fight only being confirmed this week.
“I didn’t think I was going to fight on this card, but the deal I got was so good,” the 39-year-old told ESPN.
“There was no way I could say no, honestly. Especially with a guy like Derrick, who is not known for the best cardio. I’ve got to start fast and hope I can push harder than him, even with a short camp.”
The All-American wrestler last fought in July, where he knocked out then-champion Stipe Miocic in the first round for the heavyweight belt.
“I would not have accepted a rematch against Stipe Miocic on short notice, he’s too good under these circumstances,” continued Cormier.
“I’m not saying Derrick isn’t good, but Stipe is capable of beating me in different ways. He does different things well. I think in this fight, Derrick has to knock me out to win.
”Usually, if a guy only has one path to victory, I do pretty well. Yes, I will admit the opponent factored into this.”
Cormier has stated in the past that he want to retire in 2019 and this fight fits into his plan timewise. After his win in July, former UFC star Brock Lesnar entered the octagon for a bit of shove and tickle to set up a potential bout. And now with long-time rival Jon Jones returning, the are options aplenty for the veteran.
“Counting the Lewis fight, I think I’m down to two fights left,” Cormier said.
“Maybe this will be a blessing in disguise, the fact that I don’t have a crazy, long fight camp to beat myself down. That may prolong it for me, but right now, I think I have this one and maybe one more. I can still fight in March and hit my retirement date. The one opponent that would matter to me most is Jones, because he’s beaten me twice.
“The one that would mean more financially would be Lesnar. I think I would always pick the one that means more, but my wife might have something to say about that.”