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.

2 months ago

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

email us »


Latest news in MMA

Joseph Benavidez ‘surprised it took that long’ for TJ Dillashaw to get caught
2 hours ago
Reports: UFC veteran Rodrigo Goiano de Lima killed in Brazil after altercation with Uber driver
2 hours ago
LFA looking California, feeling Minnesota for early summer events
3 hours ago
Bellator 220 video: No shortage of highlights on Ilima-Lei Macfarlane's unbeaten resume
4 hours ago
UFC Ft. Lauderdale: Fans invited to ceremonial weigh-ins, fan experience in South Florida
5 hours ago
Bellator 220: How to watch MacDonald vs. Fitch, fight card, start time, streaming info
5 hours ago
UFC Ft. Lauderdale: How to watch Souza vs. Hermansson, fight card, start time, streaming info
6 hours ago
Henry Cejudo explains what makes Marlon Moraes ‘a lot more dangerous’ than TJ Dillashaw
6 hours ago
Justin Gaethje explains why he is ‘the toughest out’ for Khabib Nurmagomedov
6 hours ago
Alexey Oleynik issues statement on loss to Alistair Overeem
6 hours ago
Trading Shots: Could a guy like Rich Franklin still become a star in today's UFC?
19 hours ago
MMA's week out of the cage: When 4/20 and Easter fall on the same weekend
19 hours ago
Mike Jackson ready for 'far more superior competition' than CM Punk
20 hours ago
Patrick Cummins' wild ride changing course, aiming for just one perfect night
21 hours ago
UFC Executive responds after Khabib Nurmagomedov criticizes St. Petersburg event
21 hours ago
Dana White wins Instagram with hilarious Happy Easter post
22 hours ago
UFC on ESPN+ 7 post-event facts: Some rare feats in Russia
22 hours ago
Bellator 220: Liam McGeary thinks finish in rematch with Phil Davis negates need for trilogy
23 hours ago
Phil Davis def. Liam McGeary at Bellator 163: Best photos
23 hours ago
Bellator 220: Make your MMA Junkie reader predictions for MacDonald-Fitch, Macfarlane-Arteaga
1 day ago