Back injury delays UFC champ Daniel Cormier's return, canceling retirement at 40

A little sneeze can be a big deal.

UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier said a back injury brought on by that innocuous reflex has now delayed his timetable for return.

Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) told MMAWeekly.com: “I have to take some time off. I had to take some time to try and make myself healthy because my schedule was so heavy last year. Three fights, three five-round training camps, very heavy training camps.

“Last year was three championship fights, I did ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ I did all my commentary duties, (and) I took that high school wrestling job in the middle of the year. It’s just a heavy, heavy year and I just need some time to get myself back in order.”

The recuperation apparently has pushed back Cormier’s timeline for retirement, which he previously pegged at 40. A little over one month away from that March 20 milestone, the UFC champ told “The MMA Hour” he’s not going to call it quits just yet (via host Luke Thomas on Twitter).

That’s music to the ears of UFC President Dana White, who estimated Cormier could compete three more times before hanging up his gloves. Cormier’s coach Javier Mendez concurred with that timeframe after advocating retirement and added the champ shouldn’t fight any more at light heavyweight.

After winning the heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic (18-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) this past July, Cormier sought to defend the light heavyweight title he was given when now-champ Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) was stripped of the belt for a failed drug test. Then he expected to take on ex-champ Brock Lesnar (5-3-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC), who confronted him in the cage after his win.

Things didn’t exactly work out to plan. Cormier instead defended the heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis in a last-minute headliner at UFC 230. Then he was stripped of the light heavyweight title – or gave it up, depending on who told the story – when Jones returned from a suspension and recaptured the belt in a rematch against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 in December.

Cormier left UFC 230 nursing an injured thumb and an unsteady back, which has yet to fully heal.

“You think you’re better, but then you’re not, and when you’re not better, you’re really not better,” Cormier described. “You feel fine but when it goes out you’re on the floor crawling. It’s a weird thing.”

Talk of a rematch between Jones and Cormier has heated up since Jones’ return, and Miocic has pressed for a rematch. White called for Lesnar, Miocic and Jones – in that order. But they’ll all have to wait.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

6 months ago

Your Ad could be here please email () us for the details.

email us »


Latest news in MMA

Bellator 225: Make your predictions for Matt Mitrione vs. Sergei Kharitonov
22 minutes ago
Khabib Nurmagomedov sends heartfelt message to Daniel Cormier following UFC 241 loss
1 hour ago
Kyung Ho Kang wants on UFC on ESPN+ 23 in his South Korea hometown after UFC 241 win
1 hour ago
Bellator's Rudy Schaffroth didn't want to fight ex-teammate Tyrell Fortune
2 hours ago
Brandon Royval, Jerome Rivera rematch for flyweight title in LFA 78 main event
2 hours ago
Paulo Costa “might kill” Israel Adesanya following “Dinosaur Arms” comment
12 hours ago
Anthony Pettis suffers broken foot in UFC 241 loss to Nate Diaz
12 hours ago
After knocking out close friend at UFC 241, Khama Worthy wants to fight ... Conor McGregor?
13 hours ago
After UFC 241 knockout, Sodiq Yusuff wants a home fight in Washington, D.C.
14 hours ago
Joe Rogan dubs Nate Diaz the most under appreciated super star on the UFC roster
14 hours ago
Joe Rogan on Yoel Romero: “The man is made out of some other worldly material”
14 hours ago
WATCH | Kyoji Horiguchi gets shockingly knocked out in 68 seconds at RIZIN 18
15 hours ago
Joe Rogan explains why he interviewed Daniel Cormier following KO loss at UFC 241
15 hours ago
Daniel Cormier noncommittal on future after 'insane' title loss at UFC 241
15 hours ago
Joe Rogan explains decision to interview Daniel Cormier following TKO loss at UFC 241
15 hours ago
Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Stipe Miocic and UFC 241's key winning fighters?
16 hours ago
Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Daniel Cormier and UFC 241's other losing fighters?
16 hours ago
Max Holloway sends message of support to ‘big brother’ Daniel Cormier
16 hours ago
After UFC 241, Paulo Costa thinks Robert Whittaker, Israel Adesanya scared of him
17 hours ago
5 biggest takeaways from UFC 241: Diaz's comeback, Miocic's KO, Cormier's future
18 hours ago