Daniel Cormier was expected to retire following his most recent fight against Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 252. Still, though Cormier and his fans knew that his time in the Octagon was done, he opted against leaving his gloves on the mat, departing from a common tradition that many fighters partake in to indicate that they’ve just completed their final fight.
In an interview with ESPN‘s Ariel Helwani, Cormier shared why he chose to keep his gloves on, and his reasoning is about what we’d expect from “DC.”
“In my mind, I lost the fight. It’s Stipe’s moment. He’s the champ. Why would I do that? Because a guy like me retires in the Octagon there, and that’s what people talk about. I think in the standings of the world, there’s a difference between Stipe and I. And if I’m in there and take my gloves off, it’s almost like I’m stealing his thunder. I wasn’t going to that. He won the fight, so I just went to the back,” he said. “I went to the back to get out of there and let that guy have his moment with his team and let him celebrate. He’s done that for me, so I got out the way.”
As Cormier mentioned, Miocic showed him the same respect at UFC 226, when Cormier defeated the firefighter to become the heavyweight champion. Miocic gave Cormier the spotlight when he’d earned it, and Cormier reciprocated when the opportunity arose.
You can watch the whole interview below: