Daniel Cormier put on the most impressive fight of his young professional career last night by knocking out Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva within the first round of their Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-finals fight. The win announced Cormier’s presence in the tournament in a big way and made it clear that fellow finalist Josh Barnett will have his work cut out for him when they meet — it also may have temporarily cost him his right hand.
Cormier dropped Bigfoot early with an impressive overhand right, but the force of the shot and the strength of the surface it hit were enough to make Cormier’s hand buckle and put some urgency in his attempts to finish the bout. He stayed patient, but it was clear that Cormier intended to put an end to things and he explained why to MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani.
“The very first right hand man. The very first right hand that hit him on the chin,” Cormier told Helwani. “He went down, I went to punch him and I felt my arm, my hand kinda crackle a little bit under me and I was like, ‘Man, what the hell, I kinda hurt myself but, if this thing’s broken, I’ve got thirteen and a half minutes left in this fight with a 6’4″ giant. I gotta make anytime I throw this thing count.’ That’s why I was trying to elbow him and do different things on the top. I knew it was hurt and then I caught him with the uppercut off the left hook and he went down and I threw the hammerfist, it was awesome.”
Cormier hasn’t learned for sure if his hand is broken or what that might mean for the future of the tournament, but he’s pleased with his victory and isn’t treating the injury like a huge obstacle: He’ll do what he has to in order to repair it and then he’ll fight again.
“The doctor in the back told me maybe (it was broken),” he said. “He told me, just get an x-ray on Monday, get back to San Jose to see our doctors and maybe they can give me a real assessment of it and let me know. Because I can only guess by feel and I’m no doctor. I know it hurts; I’m hoping for the best but you always prepare for the worst and then you just go back to rehabbing it and getting it fixed.”
The Strikeforce GP finals are likely to take place early next year, depending on Cormier’s health.