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Knee injury nearly sidelined Daniel Cormier for Dan Henderson fight

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Not that you would have guessed by his performance on Saturday night, but Daniel Cormier was nursing a serious knee injury heading into his fight with Dan Henderson. As Ariel Helwani reported on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight, Cormier revealed that he had injured his lateral collateral ligament (LCL) while training for Henderson just ten days before he stepped in the cage at UFC 173.

In the days leading up to the big co-main event spot, Cormier feared he'd have to pull out of the fight. Instead, after getting some tests done, he decided to battle through it.

And in the process, Cormier established himself as the next-in-line contender for the winner of Alexander Gustafsson and Jon Jones, which is tentatively scheduled for August. Cormier used his wrestling/ground-and-pound to dominate the 43-year old veteran Henderson for the better part of the fight, before choking him out midway through the third. At one point, Cormier slammed Henderson to the canvas and broke a tooth, which had to be pulled on Monday. That was the extent of the damage Cormier took in the fight. Though he was in discomfort this week and will need an implant, those problems are merely cosmetic.

The real concern is the knee, which Cormier says may need to be scoped in the coming weeks. Cormier also said there's a fear he may need ACL surgery, as the knee has been bothering him for a long time.

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