Daniel Cormier reveals testing positive for COVID-19 while training for Stipe Miocic trilogy fight

Daniel Cormier came up short in his UFC 252 heavyweight title rubber match with Stipe Miocic, losing a competitive decision and retiring after the loss. What fans were not aware of, however, was that Cormier had tested positive for COVID-19 slightly more than a month before the Aug. 15 event.

Speaking with Yahoo Sports, Cormier outlined how wearing an Oura Ring — a wearable fitness tracker which will soon announce a partnership with the UFC — helped him realize something was wrong and spurred him to visit a doctor, a decision that may have saved the fight.

“Things weren’t exactly … well, let me put it this way: I wasn’t sick, but I got a little tired and peaked,” Cormier said. “Monday comes, I go to practice and I spar and I worked out three times. I felt OK, but I was a little bit tired is, I guess, how I would put it. Now, let me go back for a second: The Wednesday prior, my readiness score [via the ring] was at 78, 79. The readiness score is what tells you how you are supposed to approach the day. When it’s low, it’s telling you to take a step back.

“I’ve been using it for months now because my body needs to know if I’m going in the right direction. … On Monday night, Tuesday morning, I wasn’t feeling so good. My resting heart rate had been 50 beats a minute. Now it was at 57. My body temperature had changed.”

Cormier said he went to a doctor on July 8 after his readiness score dropped to 48. After his visit to the doctor, Cormier tested positive for COVID-19. He did not, however, blame the diagnosis for the latest loss to his rival.

“This is not an excuse at all,” Cormier said. “Miocic won the fight and he fought beautifully.”

A similar situation occurred in golf, where PGA Tour golfer Nick Watney was alerted by a wearable Whoop device that his respiratory rate had spiked. That spurred him to alert PGA officials before he eventually tested positive for the coronavirus

Cormier retired at 41 years old with a career record of 22-3, with his only career losses coming against Jon Jones and Miocic (twice), the best light heavyweight and heavyweight fighters, respectively, in UFC history. He is also a former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion, and won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in 2012.

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