Cormier vs. former UFC champ Mir booked for future Strikeforce event
Olympian faces another former UFC champ.
According to a report by USA Today and John Morgan, two-time Olympian and undefeated heavyweight Daniel Cormier (10-0 MMA, 7-0 Strikeforce) will face former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir (16-6 MMA, 14-6) inside the Strikeforce cage sometime in October or November.
"There has been a lot of speculation as to who Cormier would fight next, and this is the fight that makes the most sense," UFC President Dana White said to USAToday.com. "The reality is, Cormier is one of the best heavyweights in the world. He just won the grand prix and beat Josh Barnett. He needs to fight opponents of that caliber, and Frank Mir is that guy."
Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia was set to face Cormier according to various reports, but either an agreement fell through or a rumor caught fire. When the story broke last week, White quickly shut down speculation and reminded everyone of his disdain for Sylvia as a fighter, who has faced--and lost to less than stellar competition since leaving the UFC in 2008.
Mir is coming off of a second-round TKO loss to current UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, but still presents a major challenge to the developing Cormier. Mir becomes the first UFC fighter on the roster to transition to the Strikeforce cage, although win or lose, he will return inside the Octagon.
The same applies to Cormier. Should Cormier win or lose to Mir, he too will join the UFC roster. Of course with a convincing win over another former champion, he could be in line for a heavyweight title shot in his eventual UFC debut.
Outside of Strikeforce's heavyweights (since the division is all but phased out from the promotion), any fighter under its banner cannot sign with the UFC, even if their contract expires, as long as Zuffa (the UFC and Strikeforce's parent company) has a television deal with Showtime. This was part of the new agreement signed last year, after Strikeforce lost its top stars and champions, specifically Nick Diaz, Alistair Overeem, and Dan Henderson. Strikeforce fighters who become free agents can re-sign with the promotion or elsewhere.
Don't expect UFC fighters to line up and follow Mir's lead.
Check out our interview w/ former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ and Cormier's training partner 'King Mo' Lawal: