American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) has come under intense criticism in many mixed martial arts circles for the rash of injuries suffered by fighters in training, causing them to withdrawal from scheduled fights. UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is the latest to be forced to withdrawal from a scheduled title defense against Anthony Johnson due to a torn right adductor muscle. But Cormier is taking full responsibility when interviewed by Ariel Helwani.
“How can you train if you're constantly worried about getting injured?" Cormier said. "Guys play basketball and get hurt and that's probably the easiest sport on the planet. We're actually fighting every day. We're wrestling, we're grappling.”
Still, numerous fighters that train at Javier Mendez’s AKA have battled injury issues, including Luke Rockhold and Cain Velasquez.
"It's not Javier's fault," Cormier told Helwani. "This isn't college. We're not high-school athletes. Javier can tell me not to spar and I'll be like, ‘Yeah sure, Jav.' And then I'll go spar.
"People always get confused. They talk about coaches. The reality is, these coaches and managers that everybody thinks are in so much control, they work for us. They're our employees."
"The decisions are mine," he said. "If I got hurt, it was my fault.”
Cormier (18–1) felt unprepared going into his fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 200 over the summer and that’s when he made the decision to go full force at AKA. He’s still deciding on whether or not to undergo surgery for his injury and is hoping to be back in February or March.
You can watch highlights of Cormier’s interview with Helwani embedded in the video above.
We would like to encourage you to download our *FREE* pro wrestling and mixed martial arts news app! It's available in the Apple App Store and in Google Play. Once you download and love it, please submit a review! Thank you for your support!
H/t to MMAFighting.com for the quotes.