After much scrambling, the UFC was finally able to lock down a UFC 230 main event that most fans to be happy with. The card will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between reigning champion Daniel Cormier and surging contender Derrick Lewis.
Unfortunately, it took the promotion quite a while to arrive at this main event. That means that neither Cormier nor Lewis will have much in the way of time to prepare.
In fact, Daniel Cormier recently admitted that his health isn’t even 100% heading into the fight. He’s currently dealing with a nagging hand injury.
“Man, I always wanted to compete, but I was hurt and I kinda set my sights on just waiting for Brock [Lesnar],” Daniel Cormier said Monday on The MMA Hour (transcript via MMA Fighting). “Then the UFC called me and asked me. That’s generally how it goes, but this time they said, ‘Can you fight in a few weeks?’ And I was like, ‘Well, honestly, I’m not ready to fight right now, but I could see where I stand. I could see if there’s any chance that I could get in a fight.’ They said Derrick Lewis. I said, ‘Okay, let me go see if my hand will hold up when I punch something. If it does, then yeah, I’ll go fight.’
“It’s good enough to fight,” Cormier continued. “It’s not 100 percent, I’m going to be honest. My fist is closing but not all the way. It feels like now I have like a badly jammed finger. Like, it feels like my finger’s just jammed really badly right now.
“You ever had like a jammed finger and you just can’t really pop it? It kinda like sticks up a little bit more than the other finger? That’s where my hand is right now, so my pointer finger doesn’t close completely. Like, I can’t make a closed, tight fist, but it just feels like if I could pop it, I would be okay. The problem is I’m just too afraid to pop it. It hurts. Like, I’m not popping it. I’m just kinda hoping that if I’m sparring and I punch someone, that it pops and goes back to normal.”
This hand issue, as you can probably imagine, has changed the way Daniel Cormier is preparing for his upcoming title fight with Derrick Lewis. That being said, he’s confident he’ll be well-prepared for the challenge ahead.
“I can do a lot of things,” he said. “Some sparring. I’m just not hitting as hard with my right hand. I can wrestle, but I’m just trying to be very careful. I’m kinda working around it, because if something’s going to happen, I prefer it to happen in the fight than in the training room. Because how horrible would be it be if I take this fight, three weeks until the fight, and then have to pull out a week later?
“I’m telling you, I’m going hard though. I’m hitting dudes. I’m punching dudes and trying to get ready to fight. I’m not going to cheat myself and go into this fight with Derrick — I have to be very prepared. The guy is a big, strong, tough guy who’s there to win the fight, so I have to be prepared to do everything in there.”
Do you think Daniel Cormier will successfully defend his title in the UFC 230 main event?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/16/2018.