Daniel Cormier hoped to retire by his 40th birthday. With nagging injuries piling up, the UFC heavyweight champion admits that he will have to fight on beyond March 20.
During an appearance on "The MMA Hour" on Monday, Cormier revealed that he doesn’t yet have a fight booked due to the back issues that have continued to plague him since UFC 230 this past November. Cormier nearly pulled out of his fight with Derrick Lewis after injuring his back while sneezing hours before the event.
“I hurt my back in New York City when I sneezed. This was no joke and it’s just still trying to rehab it and get better,” Cormier said on Monday. “It was just me hurting my back. I put a lot of miles on myself in my life with the wrestling, but then last year was a big year and you don’t get to have that type of year at my age and not really feel the effects of it and I’m still going through that right now.”
Cormier added that a thumb injury that nearly prevented him from fighting at UFC 230 has healed, but his wrist continues to be troublesome and probably will be for the foreseeable future.
“My doctor said I’ve got arthritis in my wrist, that’s why my wrist bothers me all the time, so there’s nothing I’m really gonna be able to do about that,” he said. “That’s just something I have to deal with, but the back has been the focus lately.”
Cormier revealed that the promotion wanted to accommodate his retirement request by booking him at UFC 235, but he won’t be healthy enough to compete on the March 2 card. The American Kickboxing Academy standout doesn’t yet have an exact date in mind for his Octagon return, he does admit that he wasn’t to be able to perform to the best of his abilities.
“I just don’t know if I’m gonna do what I did in New York again, where I have to fight where I’m not 110 percent,” Cormier said. “Because I truly do feel like the reason my back went out was because I went from zero to trying to prepare for a fight in three weeks and I can’t really do that. I need those first four weeks of a pre-training camp just to prepare my body to go through a full eight-week camp. I used to do 12 weeks, I did all that in four and that’s why my body started falling apart on me.
“12 weeks and I’m not at 100 percent, so say, I don’t know, spring? Summer? I don’t know. Not exactly sure yet.”