DC suffered a hand injury when he won the title at UFC 226 and that injury has yet to fully heal.
“Man, I always wanted to compete, but I was hurt and I kinda set my sights on just waiting for Brock,” Cormier said on The MMA Hour. “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. 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.”
Lewis is also having a quick turnaround heading into UFC 230, as he was in action less than a month ago at UFC 229.
Cormier believes that if Lewis has any shot at winning the bout, it would be a quick finish early in the main event encounter.
“I expect him to come hard, very fast, to try to knock me out,” Cormier said. “I think Derrick understands that he has to win this fight quickly, and his best course to victory is to come out there and try to get this fight finished quick, because over 25 minutes, no one’s shown the ability to go with me that long except for Jones. So, I don’t think that Derrick would see himself in that light, but he needs to go this done quick if he’s going to win this fight.”
UFC 230 takes place on Saturday, November 3 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.