Daniel Cormier was pretty sure without even seeing a doctor that he had broken his right hand during his Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-finals fight against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva — he was just hoping that it wouldn’t be too bad.
Unfortunately for the Olympic-caliber wrestler, it is. The 32-year-old told MMAFighting.com’s Ben Fowlkes that he’s going to be sporting a cast on his hand for the next six to eight weeks and he isn’t shy in admitting that his training for the finals bout he earned against Josh Barnett will be severely and negatively impacted by the injury.
“This is terrible for me, man,” Cormier told MMAFighting. “This is worst-case scenario. With when they want the fight to happen, and me being the kind of guy who wants to deliver those type of fights, to have an injury like this. The thing that makes it so difficult is, I think Josh is so good. I need to have a ten-week training camp to prepare for that fight, so this is worst-case scenario for me.”
At this point, Cormier isn’t even sure that he’ll be able to fight Barnett. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said after his fight with Bigfoot that they would be willing to set up another fight for Barnett, if Cormier were too badly injured to compete in time, to close out the GP by their targeted time frame of early 2012.
Until and if he meets Barnett, Bigfoot Silva represents the toughest test that Cormier has faced in his young MMA career; though he passed that test with flying colors, he realizes that he needs a lot of time to prepare for an opponent as seasoned as Barnett and that this injury may not afford him that time.
“Everybody always tells me that I made big improvements from fight to fight to fight,” Cormier said. “Well, if I’m injured for two months, what if I don’t make that much of an improvement from my last fight to the fight with Josh? That’s why I say it’s worst-case. This is the fight where I have to make the most improvement just to be where I need to be to beat the guy.”
We’ll have more on Cormier’s future in the Strikeforce GP as things develop.