Search icon


04th Nov 2018

A sneeze on fight day almost forced Daniel Cormier to pull out of UFC 230

"That’s getting old."

Darragh Murphy

Daniel Cormier

That could have turned out to be one of the costliest sneezes in history

UFC 230 caused plenty of headaches for Dana White in recent months as injuries to Luke Rockhold and Dustin Poirier, as well as the confusion regarding Sijara Eubanks and the women’s flyweight title, forced matchmakers to get creative.

It was decided with a month to go before fight night at Madison Square Garden to put the heavyweight title on the line as reigning champion Daniel Cormier accepted a short-notice bout against Derrick Lewis.

While Cormier was heavily favoured to come out on top against ‘The Black Beast’, he took the threat of Lewis seriously and put himself through a tough, if short, training camp.

However all of Cormier’s preparations nearly went down the drain because of a sneeze on Saturday morning but, thankfully, ‘DC’ made it to the cage and remained unbeaten at heavyweight by submitting Lewis in the second round.

“Sometimes I go into the Octagon, and I hear in the build-up, ‘When is this guy going to get old?’” Cormier said in his 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.”

Cormier hopes to hang up his gloves before he turns 40 next year and is already targeting a retirement fight on March 2 in Las Vegas.

Former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar is currently the front-runner to share the Octagon with Cormier for the final time, while ‘DC’ is also open to the idea of a rematch with Stipe Miocic or the realisation of a trilogy with Jon Jones at 205lbs.

Let’s just hope there is no last-minute sneeze drama like there was this weekend.

“I said, ‘If you let me take a nap, I’ll see if I feel better’,” Cormier continued. “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.”