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Daniel Cormier gives update on hand injury, timetable for return

Daniel Cormier’s injured hand won’t keep him out of the gym for too long.

The new dual-division UFC champion appeared Monday on The MMA Hour following his first-round knockout win over Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 and revealed that although his right hand is less than 100 percent healthy, he will be able to avoid going under the knife.

“I do have a break in my knuckle, so no surgery, but it’s going to take some time,” Cormier said on The MMA Hour. “I’m in a splint, a lot of swelling right now. Hopefully that goes down soon, and I can get back to training in a little bit.

“I’m going to need about two months for this thing to get back to where I can start using it again in combat,” Cormier added, “but no, it won’t slow me down too much.”

Cormier, 39, captured the heavyweight belt on Saturday night with a thunderous knockout of Miocic at UFC 226. Cormier is also the current UFC light heavyweight champion, meaning that his victory over Miocic made him only the second fighter in history to hold two UFC titles concurrently.

Cormier has reigned as the UFC’s 205-pound titleholder since May 2015, when he claimed the strap with a submission win over Anthony Johnson. His only blemish over that time is a third-round knockout he suffered against his rival, Jon Jones, which was ultimately overturned into a no contest after Jones tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs for the second time in his career following UFC 214. Cormier last defended the light heavyweight title in January with a second-round TKO over Volkan Oezdemir.

Moving forward, Cormier said he is looking towards a potential heavyweight title defense against former champion Brock Lesnar — a big-money matchup which will likely be the final fight of his career. The earliest that matchup can take place is January 2019, as Lesnar needs to first spend six months in the USADA testing pool. In the meantime, Cormier said he is open to defending his light heavyweight title if an intriguing contender comes along, and he dismissed Alexander Gustafsson’s calls to make the Swede’s Aug. 4 bout against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 227 into a fight for the interim title.

“I just fought in the division in January,” Cormier said. “Like, what? Like, I don’t understand. It’s not like I’ve been gone for a year, or two years. I haven’t been gone for a long time. I fought in this division in January.

“[My next move] just depends, what’s going to happen in the next couple months. I have to figure it out. Brock has to go through the USADA thing, and I’m not going to fight Brock if he’s not 100 percent clean. So if I have to fight [in the meantime], we’ll go back down to 205, and then if Brock’s ready, I’ll just fight Brock later at the beginning of next year, maybe February or March — I’ll fight in November against somebody else, and I really don’t [think it’s going to be] Gustafsson, to be honest with you.

“You can’t just will yourself into a title shot, man. You can’t not fight for a year and something and then think that you’re going to just be given an interim title fight.”

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