Daniel Cormier Simone Biles

Daniel Cormier decided to continue fighting after undergoing back surgery and into his forties. But, in hindsight, the legend recently admitted he possibly should have retired in 2018.

Daniel Cormier

Cormier says it was “over” after 2018 back surgery

If you followed Cormier throughout his career, you know that for sometime, he said he wasn’t going to fight beyond his 40th birthday in March, 2019. As 2019 began, Cormier was holding the UFC’s heavyweight title and he wasn’t long removed from a submission win over Derrick Lewis in November, 2018.

After ‘DC’ faced Lewis, he decided to undergo back surgery. Eventually Cormier faced Stipe Miocic for a second time in August, 2019, and he was stopped by the current champ.

The stars had a rubbermatch this past August, and Miocic won that fight via decision. Following that loss, Cormier announced he was hanging up the gloves, at the age of 41.

Well, while talking to Ariel Helwani recently on their ESPN show, Cormier made the following revelation (quotes via BJ Penn.com).

“When I had that back surgery in 2018 after Derrick Lewis it was over,” Cormier said.

“Like I mean, it was absolutely over. I fought twice since and I possibly should not have. You can find those things in hindsight.

But when I had that back surgery it so severely limited what I could do that it was pretty much over. I wasn’t the same guy. I trained hard last fight and Stipe beat me.

But, I just wasn’t the same guy no more after the back surgery.”

And when asked if he regrets fighting two more times, ‘DC’ said this.

“I think you can’t live with regret. Living with regret is tough.

It sucks because at the end of 2018 I was atop the world. I was the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, I beat Stipe, I had won back the light heavyweight championship, I defeated Derrick Lewis.

Anytime you are the first at anything in the UFC, it is massive. At the end of 2018, I was riding that wave but then my back was just so bad.

“It was bad for a long time, right, there were a lot of times in the middle of training camp I would have to take days off because my back was so beat up.

Legitimately, break everything down to the core, all the wear and tear in order to get back to my feet.

I remember times in the middle of my championship run or before when I was crawling up the stairs at my house because my back was so jacked up.

I was always able to manage it but once I had that surgery it was done.”

Hindsight is 20/20

As Cormier alluded to, hindsight is often 2o/20. If his abilities were compromised by the back surgery, then yes, he likely should have retired in 2018 when he was on top.

But, as ‘DC’ also referenced, as 2019 began, he was regarded as one of the very best in the game. So, at the time, he likely believed he’d be able to perform at his best, or close to it.

It’s also worth noting that after Cormier beat Lewis, the UFC was planning to have him fight Brock Lesnar, which would have been a massive fight for ‘DC’.

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