The date was set in stone. No, Daniel Cormier was not budging. March of 2019 was when he would retire, prior to March 20 to be exact, for that would mark Cormier’s 40th birthday, a milestone that the former champ-champ consistently maintained would mark the end of his MMA career. Yet, just two days ago, it was officially announced that Daniel Cormier will be defending his heavyweight championship in a rematch against Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 in Anaheim California. So what gives? Did something cause Cormier to change his mind? As it happens, it is more accurate to say that the postponement was caused because something changed his body (Transcript via BJPenn.com):
“The reason I haven’t fought, and the reason I didn’t fight in March was because I had back surgery in December,” Cormier said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “When I was about to fight Derrick Lewis, and I was telling you guys all how I sneezed and how my back was so jacked I didn’t know what was going on… It was so bad that about a week later – two weeks later, I started having pain going down my hip. So I was like, ‘Yo, what’s going on with my hip?’ And I would travel, then right around Christmas, I went to Milwaukee for that last Fox show because I was like, ‘I have to do it, last time I’m gonna work for Fox…’ Even though my hip was botherin’ me.
And when you hear the painful details of the extent of Cormier’s injury, it’s a credit to the medical staff that restored the champion to fighting condition:
“I had a disc that was bulging out of my back and sitting on my sciatic nerve,” Cormier explained. “It was out two inches of the chamber that holds the disc in. Two inches the disc was out, I couldn’t even walk. Deron Winn actually had to carry me out of my house and into my truck to take me all around to see doctors because my wife was having to deal with my children. It was bad. I would have fought in March if I was healthy. I probably really shouldn’t have fought Derrick Lewis.”
But Cormier did fight and soundly defeat Derrick Lewis. And now that he is medically cleared and fit to compete, he will look to do the same to Stipe Miocic at UFC 241…retirement can wait.
Do you believe Daniel Cormier should have retired instead of undergoing back surgery?