Who woulda thought that after all of UFC 230’s main event drama, from whether Jon Jones could come back in time, to whether or not a 165lb Division would be introduced, to Valentina Shevchenko vs Sijara friggin’ Eubanks…that a sneeze was almost the final nail in the coffin that put the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s third Madison Square Garden headlining bout?
Daniel Cormier calls it getting old, but it is in fact true – on Saturday morning, the UFC Heavyweight Champion of the World sneezed…and threw out his back. He describes it as a “slip” that left him unable to go on his usual fight day run, and it was apparently a bit of a returning pain from earlier in the week. It sounds like after a few hours, when DC’s condition wasn’t improving much, the UFC sent a rehab team to his hotel room to massage him and apply some STEM machines to his back, and something along the way was able to put Cormier’s back at ease long enough for him to be fit to fight by the time UFC 230’s broadcast finally rolled along.
I feel like we all say we’ve got back injuries here at Barstool. Mine is a case of something called spondylolisthesis, which just means one of my vertebrae slipped out of place onto the vertebrae underneath it, so it just causes a decent amount of pain all the time – as well as a few unrecovered herniated disks from a deadly combination of shoveling snow, training to become a professional wrestler, and playing roller hockey – and I’ve got no fucking idea how Daniel Cormier pulled off getting out of bed with a thrown-out back, let alone fighting Derrick motherfucking Lewis at Madison Square Garden and putting on one of the most dominant performances I’ve ever seen to successfully defend his UFC Heavyweight Championship for the first time.
This is what mild back discomfort looks like on an average person:
…and this is what a thrown-out back looks like on Daniel Cormier:
It’s outrageous! I wake up after sleeping the wrong way, get that sharp pain in one muscle of my back, and I’m out for the WEEK – walking like I’m wearing one high heel and one flip flop just to stay upright.
Not Daniel, though. Daniel’s a mothafuckin’ champion in every sense of the word, got into his locker room at Madison Square Garden when it was time to go, cranked the heat up to about 85 degrees, and began his pre-fight ritual of hyping himself up in the third person.
(Ignore Khabib in that video, I don’t like him)
Then, ‘When We Ride On Our Enemies’ by Tupac blared throughout the World’s Most Famous Arena, followed by ‘Right Above It’ by Wayne, and Cormier sprinted to the octagon, ready to make history and further cement his legacy as one of the greatest pound-for-pound mixed martial artists of all time.
Imagine if it all ended over a sneeze?
(Thank god it didn’t, love you DC!)