Daniel Cormier details incident that led to his withdrawal from UFC 197

Last week news broke that UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier had been forced out of his UFC 197 main event bout with Jon Jones on April 23rd due to an injury sustained in training.

The UFC ultimately selected Ovince Saint Preux as a fill-in opponent against Jones, and made the bout for the interim championship while Cormier took 5-6 weeks to recover.

DC spoke to Fox Sports to discuss the injury that forced him out of the bout, saying:

“I’m sparring and I kick one of my training partners, inside leg kick, and he checked it, which is what he’s supposed to do. We’re training to be the best in the world so he checked the kick and I fell down and was like ‘that was a rough one’. Because we kick and check kicks all the time. That’s normal. When it happened, I fell and was like that really hurt,” Cormier explained.

“So I stomped my foot down a couple of times to try and wake it up, because normally it feels like a Charlie horse, like a knot. So I stomped my foot down a couple of times to try and wake the thing back up and then I was like I’ll go back to sparring. So I was sparring with this one kid and he’s so small and we first started and he put his foot on my shin, not even a kick really, just a little bit of a front kick to my shin and I fell down again and I was like ‘I think I’m done’. It’s too painful.”

An MRI revealed that DC tore a ligament on the outside of his shin, and while he held onto hope that he could fight, the UFC looked out for his best interest.

“They asked ‘how do you feel?’ and I said I’m very limited in what I can do but I’m holding out hope because I’ve always made the walk, I’ve always been there. Right in that conversation, something very surprising happened. Dana said ‘DC you can take until Monday, but you’re hurt. The doctor said that you need five or six weeks to heal so even if you sat on your ass for the next three weeks, you will still need two weeks. You’re the champion, you don’t have to do this, we know this is hard for you but you worked a long hard time to get to where you are and we don’t want to put you in a situation where you’re fighting and you’re not 100-percent healthy’.”

“That’s amazing that those guys were telling me that because if there’s one guy who wants you to fight it’s them but they said they didn’t want to put me in that situation.”