Daniel Cormier is hoping to be back before spring.
The UFC light heavyweight champion told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he tore his right adductor muscle (near the groin) and is still debating whether or not to have surgery. Cormier said depending on his course of treatment, he could be back in the Octagon by February or March.
Cormier said his doctors have given him the choice to just rest it, get platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, or have legitimate surgery. Resting would take five months, Cormier said, and he wants to be back sooner. PRP treatments could get him back earlier than that and surgery might get him back in the gym in eight weeks.
"I don't know, man," Cormier said. "It's a weird deal, because I always try not to have surgery. That's kind of my thing. I do whatever I can to not go under the knife. I've got some decisions to make."
Cormier said the last few weeks he's felt a lack of power in his right leg. He changed his training to focus on boxing, in hopes of still being able to defend his title against Anthony Johnson at UFC 206 on Dec. 10 in Toronto. But last Tuesday, Cormier said, he wasn't even able to run anymore. Running is integral to the weight-cutting process and soon after Cormier said he called UFC president Dana White and told him he couldn't fight.
"I got no backlash," Cormier said of his conversation with White. "I got nothing."
The UFC announced Saturday that the title fight was off and Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis, the previous co-main event, would move up into the headlining spot. That fight will be for the interim featherweight title with Conor McGregor relinquishing the undisputed title and Jose Aldo, the former interim champ, being given the undisputed belt.
Cormier (18-1), who has gotten advice from UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz because he had a similar injury a few years ago, said he wants to be back to face Johnson, who will not stay on the UFC 206 card, in either February or March and then make a quick turnaround and face Ryan Bader before July.
"I told [the doctor] I would like the fastest way back to the Octagon," Cormier said.
Cormier, 37, has received criticism, because he has pulled out of fights due to injury multiple times in the past. "DC" said it's just a part of MMA.
"I feel if I don't prepare in the ways I've always prepared in, I don't know if I'll be able to compete to the best of my ability," he said. "It sucks."