Daniel Cormier made history at UFC 230 when he became the first man to successfully defend the two titles that he is simultaneously holding. In doing so, he, along with Derrick Lewis, was able to save the event, which was in desperate need of a main event even after tickets had already gone on sale. But what the public did not know is that this main event nearly did not happen. In what would have been an almost fitting end to the chaotic UFC 230 build-up, Daniel Cormier almost pulled out of the UFC 230 the day of the fight. The culprit for this close call? A sneeze. (transcript via MMAjunkie):
“I hurt it this morning bad,” Cormier told reporters at the UFC 230 Post-Fight Press Conference. “Sometimes I go into the octagon, and I hear in the build-up, ‘When is this guy going to get old?’ It could happen overnight. I thought it happened this morning when I sneezed, and I slipped my back out. Like seriously. We got some pictures that we may release later in the week. I sneezed, and because I sneezed my back slipped out. I tried to do my morning run, and it wasn’t happening.”
Following the injury, the UFC sent medical professionals to help treat Cormier’s back. With no noticeable improvements, Daniel Cormier and his team were in a race against the clock:
“At around 12, 1 o’clock, it was to the point where I was kind of singed over and leaning and Bob Cook said, ‘If you don’t get better then we’re going to have to make a decision on whether or not you’re going to fight,’” Cormier said. “It was real close.
“It was very scary because I had no idea how we were going to explain that one. I was like, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to explain this when I sneezed and hurt my back.’ That’s getting old. That’s what that is.”
Just as random as a sneeze almost costing fight fans the UFC 230 main event, it was an equally random action that saved the card: a nap. After taking a nap, Daniel Cormier was able to go for a walk and his back gradually loosened up. Before the night was over, Cormier would go on to make his trademark jog to the Octagon before walking away from the historic Madison Square Garden as the first man to successfully defend two titles that he is simultaneously holding, a feat that is not taken lightly by Cormier:
“It means everything,” Cormier said. “I’ve told you guys for a very long time that I want to remembered when I left this sport. I think when you get into doing things that have never been done before that ensure I will always be thought of when you think about the greatest fighters of all time. It’s truly, truly amazing.”
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