The hand Daniel Cormier broke on Antonio Silva's skull is taking its time to heal, and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today said the end of the promotion's heavyweight grand prix is waiting on that paw.
"We'll take it on a week-by-week basis," Coker said.
At the moment, the finals of the eight-man tournament are expected to late place in "late first quarter," or March.
"That's the month that we're shooting for," he said.
Coker said Cormier (9-0 MMA, 6-0 SF) is soon due back at the doctor for a follow-up visit. The fighter had a protective cast removed several weeks ago. Presumably, the fighter will receive a timeframe for when he can start hitting things and prepare for Josh Barnett (31-5 MMA, 1-0 SF), who awaits him in a five-round fight for the heavyweight-grand-prix belt.
The undefeated Cormier stepped into the tournament as an alternate one month after an impressive decision win over Jeff Monson at "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum." He filled a spot vacated by Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, who was cut by the promotion (and later signed by the UFC).
Cormier went on to knock out Silva in the semifinals of the grand prix, which took place in September at "Strikeforce Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov." In the headliner, Barnett advanced to the finals with a first-round submission victory over Sergei Kharitonov, which set up the meeting in the finals.
Cormier or his representatives at American Kickboxing Academy could not be reached for comment on the status of his hand. In a previous interview with "Inside MMA," he said he isn't wasting any time in preparing for Barnett.
"For a guy like Josh Barnett, for me not to be working hard for him at this point, trying to do a basic seven to 10 week camp is disrespectful to him, and it doesn't give me the best opportunity to win the fight," Cormier said.
The grand-prix finals originally were targeted for the end of this year, though the schedule was pushed back by the buyout of Strikeforce by UFC parent company Zuffa and Cormier's injury.