Daniel Cormier conquers his goals despite a hurt hand and hefty itinerary

The excruciating pain that invaded Daniel Cormier’s right hand during the therapy treatments had eased slightly when the company called.

Would the 39-year-old workhorse consider making his first defense with less than a month’s preparation, against the second-ranked challenger, Derrick Lewis, who’d won nine of his last 10 fights and knocked out 18 of 21 foes?

In the last month, Lewis notched a last-second knockout against Russia’s Alexander Volkov to win a bout in which he was trailing on all three scorecards; was cleared to fight by the New York commission despite the punishment he received in that fight; and was named with Daniel Cormier to lead the pay-per-view card for Saturday night’s UFC 230 main event at Madison Square Garden.

Weighing in Friday at 264.6 pounds to Cormier’s 251.2, Lewis, 33, makes no secret of his intention to strike the champion with the type of disabling power punches that have helped him win nine of his past 10 fights and earn 18 knockouts.

Few people have the audacity to try to put UFC President Dana White in his place, but when the powerful, sometimes tyrannical leader decided to yank Sijara Eubanks off her scheduled Madison Square Garden main-event title fight, the fighter didn’t hold back.

The bout was to be for the vacant flyweight belt after the UFC was unable to strike a deal with former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones for the main event.

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