“I was crossing my fingers [Barnett] wouldn’t win,” Mendez said with a laugh. “He’s so damn dangerous. There’s really not much weakness [with] him. We’re going to have to really, really do our homework with this one. … If you want to be realistic, after watching all the fighters, the number one guy that’s really the best out of the group, the first original eight, is the guy in the finals now. That’s Josh. If you’re going on how they approached their fights and [how] they looked in their fights, you have to give it to Josh.”
That’s quite a compliment considering the original eight tournament entrants include Alistair Overeem, Fedor Emelianenko and Fabricio Werdum. Mendez knows Cormier is in for another challenge with Barnett, but his fighter is also dealing with a broken hand. Cormier confirmed the injury Monday on his Twitter account and added that he will be “on the shelf for a while.”
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