Josh Barnett (31-6 MMA, 2-1 SF) went straight to the hospital after a five-round war with Daniel Cormier (10-0 MMA, 7-0 SF) that saw Cormier earn a unanimous-decision victory to become the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion.
Barnett broke his left hand in the very first round of the fight and had it set in a splint by a doctor, who said it was not a “spiral” break.
An orthopedist now will determine the extent of the damage, after which the fighter and his rep will decide what’s next.
Barnett’s manager Leland LaBarre said the following regarding going to the UFC:
“Due to extenuating circumstances, anything’s possible.” But he declined to reveal whether Barnett’s contract allowed for a move.
“Per his contract, I think that [Strikeforce parent Zuffa] would happily find an opponent that makes the most sense,” he said.
Barnett was in good spirits while in the hospital, LaBarre said, and did not require a CT scan despite punishment that included a head kick and punches that left him woozy in the third round.
Cormier also suffered a broken right hand during the fight and is expected to undergo corrective surgery.