Daniel Cormier successfully defended the UFC Heavyweight Title at UFC 230, retaining the gold via fourth round submission.
The bout almost got canned according to Cormier, who was dealing with a back injury in the lead up to the bout.
“Sometimes I go into the octagon, and I hear in the build-up, ‘When is this guy going to get old?’” Cormier said at the UFC 230 post-fight press conference. “It could happen overnight. I thought it happened this morning when I sneezed, and I slipped my back out. 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. At around 12 or 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.’ It was real close.”
While many fights have been canceled for many MMA promotions in the past, but UFC 230 could’ve marked the first time a fighter pulled out of a bout due to sneezing.
DC would get better and eventually compete at the event, but not before taking a fight saving nap first.
“I said, ‘If you let me take a nap, I’ll see if I feel better,’” said Cormier. “So I woke up and went for a walk, and when I went for a walk and got active, my back started to release a little bit. So 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. Once I started feeling better, I just really turned up the feeling better. Sometimes you can almost mentally make yourself feel better. But again, this is a three-week training camp, and generally when I’m in fight week, after three weeks my back starts to go bad. So take a few days off to recover, but I usually have five weeks left of training. So it just so happens that it happened on the day of the fight.”
Cormier recently stated that he would like to retire next year at UFC 235, as long as no sneezing related injuries put a halt to those plans.