ANAHEIM, Calif. – Just 13 months ago, newly crowned UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier had a plan: defend the light heavyweight belt he also held, fight Brock Lesnar at heavyweight, then retire.

Things didn’t quite go that way.

Cormier withstood injuries, defenses his heavyweight belt against Derrick Lewis, relinquished the light heavyweight belt, and signed on for a rematch with Stipe Miocic, whom he faces on Saturday at UFC 241.

Cormier was all in on fighting Lesnar, the WWE megastar guaranteed to send him into retirement with a few extra zeroes on his bank balance. But he’s apparently let go of that dream.

“I think the book is closed on Brock Lesnar,” Cormier said. “For me, at least. I’m not worried about nothing that I can’t control. I’m going to fight Stipe and get my hand raised.”

In May, the UFC announced Cormier vs. Miocic 2, the rematch of the UFC 226 bout in which Cormier won the heavyweight title, signaling the Lesnar fight was no longer on the table. UFC president Dana White said the pro wrestling star and former UFC champ got a better offer to stay with the WWE.

Still, speculation swirled Lesnar’s true motivations. He had entered the testing pool with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, indicating he was taking the steps to return. But the Wrestling Observer reported he felt the UFC’s offer wasn’t lucrative enough to again put his wrestling career on hold. White disputed that idea, saying the promotion still performs well on pay-per-view despite putting events behind a paywall with broadcast partner ESPN+.

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