Daniel Cormier believes Islam Makhachev’s rematch comments are an early sign of retirement: “Only a couple more years”

By Josh Evanoff - December 12, 2023

UFC commentator Daniel Cormier believes Islam Makhachev’s recent comments could be a sign of his impending retirement.

Daniel Cormier and Islam Makhachev

The Russian has been out of the cage since a rematch with Alexander Volkanovski in October. There, Islam Makhachev picked up his second win over ‘The Great’ by knockout, with names such as Daniel Cormier watching by. Following the win, he was called out by many top lightweights.

However, that doesn’t mean that the lightweight champion himself wants to face many of his top challengers. In a recent interview, Islam Makhachev stated that he had no interest in rematching anyone. That would take away rumored bouts with Charles Oliveira, as well as Arman Tsarukyan.

Instead, Islam Makhachev named Justin Gaethje as the man that he wants to face next. UFC commentator Daniel Cormier is seemingly a fan of that bout, but he does believe it shows something. ‘DC’ discussed the lightweight’s recent comments on his YouTube channel.

There, Daniel Cormier opined that the champion’s comments could be a warning sign of retirement. In the video, the commentator stated that he felt that Islam Makhachev could only be at this for a few more years. Especially because the champion stated as such, in a recent interview. With that, the decision to call for fresh matchups makes sense.


Islam Makhachev

(via Zuffa LLC)

“That immediately makes you think,” Daniel Cormier stated in a recent video on his YouTube channel, reacting to recent comments made by UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. “Is Islam saying that he doesn’t want rematches because it’s Tsaruykan? Because before, it seemed like it was all systems go for Charles Oliveira. But again, we hadn’t heard from Islam. We don’t know if that’s how Islam’s been feeling. ‘I don’t really want to do rematches’.”

He continued, “This is where I think we’re messing up, when we watch that video. We’re missing why Islam said he doesn’t want rematches, and why I think he’s right. If I’m being honest… When the reporter followed up with ‘Islam, can you see yourself doing this until you’re 40?’, Islam said ‘40? No. Maybe a couple of more years’. That’s why I think it’s right.”

Daniel Cormier concluded, “…If he’s only going to be around for a couple of more years, do we want to see him recycle opponents? Or, do we want to see him in there with different people time and time again?… He said only a couple more years of fighting.”

As of now, Islam Makhachev’s next fight has yet to be scheduled. However, the lightweight champion did show interest in a potential contest with Justin Gaethje going down in March at UFC 299. As of now, the pay-per-view event is expected to be headlined by Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera 2.

What do you make of these comments from Daniel Cormier? Who do you want to see Islam Makhachev fight in his return next year? Do you believe he’s close to retirement?


Daniel Cormier Islam Makhachev UFC