UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier already knows his next fight will be against Jon Jones. But don't expect an announcement about the rematch until 2016.
Cormier recently met with the UFC to renegotiate a new contract, where he signed on for eight more fights. The conversation also included a chat about his next fight with Jones now that the former champion has been reinstated following a suspension from the sport that started in April.
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Cormier had asked for some time off following his title defense in October following a five-round battle with Alexander Gustafsson and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC president Dana White were more than receptive to yield to his request.
"I don't want to start a fight camp right now. I want to relax through the holidays with my family and when I told that to Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta), they were very open about it. They said 'get through your holiday and then we'll see what happens'. They said 'it's awesome DC, you had a great year, now you can get through your holiday and see what happens next'," Cormier told FOX Sports this week.
"I needed it. I'm 36 fighting these young guys and it's tough. I fought the best this division has to offer all over the span of 10 months. I need a break and I'm going to take it."
Cormier already knows he's going to face Jones again after dropping a unanimous decision to the former champion this past January at UFC 182.
The rematch is already a foregone conclusion, but for Cormier to actually relax and not obsess about a date and location for the fight with Jones, he's asked for some time off to enjoy the holidays with his family and then the UFC can officially announced the rematch with a 2016 date attached.
"I'll probably wait until after the holidays to start talking to Dana and Lorenzo about another fight. Once you've got a date, everything changes because now even though a date may be six months away, you're still thinking about the fight," Cormier said. "You're like 'when does training camp start? Who do I need to bring in to prepare for this fight? It's like immediately on your mind'.
"So don't give me a date, don't give me any of that, let me get through the holidays and we'll see what happens."
It's actually been years since Cormier enjoyed a holiday at home with his fight preparation almost always running into both Christmas and New Year's. In 2011, Cormier was training for a fight against Josh Barnett in January before a broken hand pushed the matchup back a few months. Cormier had a fight with Dion Staring scheduled for January the following year and then Patrick Cummins in 2014.
Most recently, Cormier faced Jones in January 2015 so it's been over four years since he's actually been able to enjoy time at home with his family, and he knows he's earned it with his recent fight schedule.
The time off will allow Cormier some much needed breathing room after fighting Jones, Gustafsson and Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson all in the span of 10 months, which comes on the heels of eight total fights in the last two years.
The deal will likely lock Cormier down for the rest of his career and the light heavyweight champion admits he doesn't plan on ever fighting anywhere else besides the UFC.
"It went really, really well. They're good guys and they're fair guys," Cormier said. "If I'm being completely honest, the bonuses that they've been giving me, discretionary, are outstanding. Just randomly sending me outrageous amounts of money just because 'hey DC good job, thanks for stepping up against 'Rumble' (Johnson), you and (Jon) Jones did a monster pay-per-view, here's some extra money'.
"When you go in there and you say 'guys, this is where I want to be for the rest of my career, can you make that happen?' and your bosses are so open 'yeah, DC, let's do it'. It was much better negotiating this time than the last time I renegotiated my contract."