Daniel Cormier
Injury Back
Est. Return 4/1/2019
Saddled with back issue
February 11, 2019
Cormier is dealing with a back injury stemming from UFC 230 in November, Damon Martin of MMA Weekly reports.
It was revealed that an injury of some sort was nagging the heavyweight champion back in January, but the exact nature and cause have finally been revealed. Per Martin, the back injury isn't severe enough to warrant surgery, but Cormier will not retire by his 40th birthday in March as originally planned, Luke Thomas of MMAFighting.com reports. Cormier still hasn't contacted any fighters in an effort to schedule his next fight, so a timeline for his return remains murky. More information on his status will likely emerge once his back is healthy enough to allow him to consider a return to the octagon.
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Currently dealing with injury
January 18, 2019
UFC President Dana White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Instagram Live that Cormier is currently unable to fight due to an undisclosed injury (via Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sports).
Cormier has previously asserted a self-imposed retirement deadline of approximately his 40th birthday in March, but he still has unfinished business in multiple divisions, and would seemingly be willing to extend that date if a he's unable to book a fight in the near future. Talks of a trilogy fight with Jon Jones have spurred discussion, but it appears Jones is content to remain at 205 and defend his recently-earned belt. Stipe Miocic has also been asking for a rematch with Cormier for quite some time, but it's unclear how the former champion fits into Cormier's plans. Another wild card option is Brock Lesnar, who has told Dana White that he's still interested in a return. Outside of a Jones rematch, Cormier would likely enter as a betting favorite in any of those fights. One would expect Cormier to consider calling it quits at some point towards the end of 2019, but it's unclear how many fights he's looking to lock in before that, as well as how much his health will permit him to do so.
Gives up light heavyweight belt
December 28, 2018
Cormier gave up his light heavyweight title belt Friday, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Cormier wouldn't have held the belt for more than a day longer anyway, as it would have been stripped from him Saturday by the winner of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232. Cormier held the belt for three and a half years but has since moved up to heavyweight, winning the title in that weight class against Stipe Miocic in June and defending it against Derrick Lewis in November.
Easily handles Derrick Lewis to retain UFC Heayvweight Championship
November 3, 2018
Cormier easily defended his UFC Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Derrick Lewis via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:14 of Round 2 at UFC 230 in New York City.
That will go down as arguably the easiest title defense of DC's career. The difference in grappling between Cormier and Lewis was just far too much for the challenger to overcome. DC planted Lewis on his back without incident in each of the first two rounds before working to secure the rear-naked choke midway through the second frame. Cormier ate a couple of shots from Lewis but he was never in any trouble at any point in the brief fight. Basically, it played out exactly as everyone expected. With DC scheduled to relinquish his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship so Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson can battle for the title next month, it sure seems as if the next defense of his Heavyweight Championship will come against Brock Lesnar at some point in 2019. DC is going to find himself a hefty favorite for that fight when it comes to fruition.
Provides thumb injury details in advance of UFC 230
October 16, 2018
Cormier admitted to Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour that his right hand is "not 100 percent" heading into his UFC 230 fight against Derrick Lewis on Nov. 3.
Cormier said that his right thumb feels "badly jammed," but he can still spar and continue with the majority of his training regimen. The heavyweight champion is being careful with his training, however, admitting that he isn't hitting as hard as he could be with his right hand. There's a chance a hard shot could make things worse and cause further injury, but Cormier would rather have it happen during the fight than be forced to withdraw ahead of time. Despite the fact that Cormier is not at 100 percent, health-wise, he's still the more well-rounded martial artist by a sizable margin, and remains approximately a (-600) betting favorite as of Oct. 16.
In line to lose light heavyweight belt
October 10, 2018
Cormier -- who will defend his heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 -- will be stripped of his light heavyweight title following Wednesday's announcement that Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson will square off for the 205-pound title Dec. 29 in Las Vegas, MMAFighting.com reports.
There have been rumors of this belt being stripped from Cormier for quite some time, but nothing actionable had occurred until the UFC officially announced the Dec. 29 headliner Wednesday afternoon. Cormier became the second-ever concurrent two-division champion after defeating Stipe Miocic at UFC 226, but his plan was to go back and defend the light heavyweight belt. Instead, the UFC booked him to headline the Nov. 3 card at Madison Square Garden against Derrick Lewis -- an opportunity too good to pass up from both earnings and matchup perspectives. Cormier has already opened as a (-800) betting favorite for that fight, as Lewis is largely a one-dimensional striker with known cardio issues. Should Cormier get past Lewis as expected, the door would be open for him to return to light heavyweight and face the winner of the UFC 232 matchup. DC has said all along that he doesn't intend to fight into his 40s, and an early-2019 matchup against the winner would give him the opportunity to regain his second belt and end his career on top.