Daniel Cormier’s silver lining has a cloud attached.
Ebullient after his Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Final win over Josh Barnett on Saturday night, the former Olympian now has to have surgery on his hand.
Incredibly both he and Barnett broke their right hands early in the fight - possibly in the first round, both say - but fought like lions for the full 25-minute duration.
“I think I'm going to have surgery on it and get it fixed, because I don't want it to be recurring and then end up costing me later and later on down the line,” says Cormier, who has broken the hand once before but never had surgery to repair it.
Cormier emerged as the winner of a comfortable decision after out-striking Barnett in many exchanges and hitting superb takedowns then shutting down Barnett’s submission game.
On two separate occasions he hit Barnett with head kicks which would have flattened a lesser man; Cormier says he only threw the kicks because of his hand injury, but he was happy with the results.
“You're in a fight, you have to use all your weapons. That's why I was kicking, I was punching, I was kneeing him in there. Josh is too good to fight handicapped. I don't think my coaches picked up on [the injury] because I didn't tell them. I just kept fighting,” he says.
Having won the GP, Cormier now finds himself contracted in to at least one more fight under the Strikeforce banner. As Strikeforce has wound up its heavyweight division and ported most of its members over to the UFC, its somewhat pointless.
That said, Cormier faces some considerable time out after he has surgery to correct his broken hand. By the time he is ready to fight again, Strikeforce may have been wound up entirely. Either way, Cormier has underlined his status as a solid prospect and a venture into the UFC is an eventual certainty.