Typically, if a fighter is already discussing his retirement, an injury to his back might force that date to be moved up. That, though, is not the case for UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Cormier appeared on The MMA Hour Monday and stated that a back injury suffered at UFC 230 will keep him from competing before he turned 40. The former Olympian and UFC light heavyweight champion had planned to retire before he hit that magical number, which comes this March.
“I (expletive) my back up. It hasn’t recovered as I hoped it would,” Cormier said. “I’m just trying to heal up. Once (that happens), I can start looking forward to what’s next. Now, it’s just handling these injuries, getting better.”
Cormier improved to 22-1 this past November with a second round submission victory over Derrick Lewis to defend his heavyweight title. He was stripped of the light heavyweight belt shortly after, as Jon Jones claimed that championship once again with a victory over Alexander Gustafsson in December. “DC” also topped Stipe Miocic and Volkan Oezdemir last year, marking the first time since 2015 that he competed three times within a calendar year.
“I have to take time off,” he said. “My schedule was so heavy last year. Three fights, three five-round training camps, heavy training camps and I did The Ultimate Fighter.
“I did my commentary duties, took that high school wrestling job; it’s just been a heavy, heavy year.”
Cormier also responded to comments made by UFC president Dana White in which White hopes to see him compete at least three more times before retiring.
“That’s him being hopeful,” Cormier said. “He’s such a powerful guy that he can say things to the point you believe them. We’ll see what happens. I don’t anticipate it, but let him be happy for a while.”