11 Feb - 
Daniel Cormier taking time off to heal back injury

Don’t expect the UFC’s reigning heavyweight champion to return to action any time soon.

Despite his plans to retire by his 40th birthday, UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is unsurprisingly going to extend his career beyond March 20th. What remains to be seen is when he’ll return.

In an interview with MMAWeekly, Cormier revealed that there’s no timetable for his next fight, and the main culprit is a back injury he suffered in his UFC 230 win over Derrick Lewis.

“I f—ked my back up at UFC 230. It hasn’t recovered as fast as I hoped it would,” Cormier said.

It’s not an injury serious enough to require surgery, but it is serious enough that he won’t rush back into the Octagon any time soon.

2018 proved to be an historic year for Cormier. He defended the light heavyweight title against Volkan Oezdemir in January, knocked out Stipe Miocic in July to become a simultaneous two-division champion, then defended his heavyweight belt against Lewis in November.

After such a hectic schedule beyond just the fights themselves, Cormier intends to heal his body before gearing up for another opponent.

“I have to take some time off,” Cormier said. “I had to take some time to try and make myself healthy because my schedule was so heavy last year. Three fights, three five round training camps, very heavy training camps. Last year was three championship fights, I did ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, I did all my commentary duties, I took that high school wrestling job in the middle of the year. It’s just a heavy, heavy year and I just need some time to get myself back in order.”

Cormier has sought a big payday against former UFC champion Brock Lesnar, whose USADA suspension has been served, but there’s been no meaningful update on then the WWE star will return to MMA, if at all. A trilogy matchup with Jon Jones at heavyweight is certainly a contest that Dana White wants to see.

For now, Cormier hasn’t had any conversations about a timetable for when he’ll be ready to compete again.

“Once I heal up, I can start looking forward to what’s next but right now it’s just handle these injuries. Just get better,” Cormier said.

“I’m just waiting. I’m just waiting and when I feel better we’ll talk. Me and the UFC will talk when I get better and we’ll decide on a date and then we’ll go forward with a fight.”