UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier’s knee issues have been well documented. The 36-year-old has been fighting on a bad knee for years.
He nearly withdrew from his UFC 173 bout against Dan Henderson because of knee problems. He nearly underwent surgery last year, but opted for alternative treatments prior to his UFC 182 title fight against Jon Jones.
He fought and defeated Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 in May to capture the title while suffering from the same knee problems that have ailed him for some time.
Today, according to his doctor, “DC” is walking around basically without an ACL in one of his knees, but still doesn’t plan to go under the knife to repair it. Instead, Cormier’s doctor informed UFC Tonight that the champion would undergo stem cell and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections.
PRP therapy has been around since mid-1990’s. The procedure consists of withdrawing a portion of the patient’s blood. The blood is placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from it, which is then injected into the site of the injury.
Several high-profile athletes have undergone PRP therapy in recent years. Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steeelers received PRP therapy prior to winning Super Bowl XLIII. Golfer Tiger Woods and Major League Baseball pitchers Takashi Saito and Bartolo Colon have seen success with the procedure.
Even UFC president Dana White used PRP therapy to help with Meniere's disease, an inner ear disorder with symptoms that include vertigo.
It was recently announced that second-ranked Alexander Gustafsson will face Cormier for the title later this year. If the treatments go as planned and rehabilitation stays on schedule, Cormier would like to defend the belt on the UFC 192 fight card on Oct. 3 at the Toyota Center in Houston.