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Javier Mendez admits Daniel Cormier was ‘never the same’ after back surgery

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Javier Mendez admitted Daniel Cormier was ‘never the same’ after his back surgery.

Mendez is Daniel Cormier’s longtime head coach. He has helped DC through some of the greatest fights of his career. Besides Cormier, Mendez also coached several other UFC champions such as Cain Velasquez, Luke Rockhold and Khabib Nurmagomedov at the famous American Kickboxing Academy (AKA).

Javier Mendez recently appeared on The Schmozone podcast and opened up on several intriguing topics. Responding to recent comments from Daniel Cormier where Cormier revealed he slowed down after having back surgery, Javier Mendez said:

“Well, you know, since we’ve been in contact with DC, we’ve seen it, kind of monitoring its progress and decline. One hundred percent after (back) surgery it was never the same – Surgery and age. In all fairness, we always felt he was good enough to maintain that (UFC heavyweight) title. We still thought he could have kept that title, but we knew he was slowing down. One hundred percent; we knew he was not the same.

“We see it day by day, we know what it is. We know what he could do and we knew he had lost a step. Yes, he did it one hundred percent. Now was it due to a back injury? Partially. Was it due to age? Partially. So I say a combination of the two. You know it’s like everyone says – the older you get, the older you get, you know. And the only thing that doesn’t leave is power, but we felt he was still good enough to hold onto the title. But we’ve certainly never seen it the same way after back surgery. And age slowed him down, that’s for sure; one hundred percent. “(* H / T Sportskeeda for transcript)

In a nutshell, Javier Mendez suggested that it was both the age (Daniel Cormier was 41 at the time of his retirement fight in August 2020) and the back surgery that hurt Cormier’s performance at the interior of the octagon.

Daniel Cormier only competed twice after the back surgery

Javier Mendez (left);  Daniel Cormier (right)
Javier Mendez (left); Daniel Cormier (right)

Following his victory over Derrick Lewis in November 2018, Daniel Cormier underwent back surgery. Cormier has only participated in a few MMA fights since then.

DC lost via TKO in the fourth round to Stipe Miocic in August 2019, and he then lost by unanimous decision in the match of the trilogy against Miocic in August 2020. Daniel Cormier retired after that, and he now works as an analyst and commentator for the UFC.

Posted Dec 31, 2020, 5:55 AM IST



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