Last week, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said this fight would be the only time that fans will see a UFC fighter go to Strikeforce to fight someone in the hexagon. When Cormier was a guest of the MMA Fight Corner this weekend, he reminded Fertitta and UFC President Dana White “Don’t forget about me over here. If I win this fight, give me a shot.”
The unique situation was created because Daniel Cormier had one fight remaining on his Strikeforce contract. While the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix was taking place last year, which Daniel emerged as champion of, most of the other heavyweights were brought into the UFC. The only remaining heavyweights in Strikeforce are Cormier and Josh Barnett who were the last two standing during the Grand Prix.
Now that the Grand Prix is over, Cormier remains in Strikeforce to finish out the last fight that remains on his contract before he joins the UFC. The UFC is sending former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir to Strikeforce to battle Cormier in the hexagon. Cormier couldn’t be more excited to test himself against a man who’s competed for a UFC title six times in his career.
“I respect Frank a ton, man. I think Frank Mir is one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. I think his record shows that he’s probably one of the most dangerous submission threats that the heavyweight division has ever seen.” Cormier said. “I respect Frank. I know that it’s an uphill battle for me going into this fight and it’s going to be tough. But you know what? This is why I fight. I fight high level competition and Frank is exactly what I need at this point in my career.”
It was stated by Strikeforce President Scott Coker earlier in the month that this fight wouldn’t be for the Strikeforce title. Alistair Overeem was the last Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion and vacated the title when he entered the UFC late last year. Since there hasn’t been a fight set up for anyone to claim the vacant title, Cormier is campaigning to get Coker to change his mind.
“I would like it to be for the Strikeforce Championship because I’d like to actually put that belt on my mantle too – if I’m lucky enough to beat Frank and retire as the last Strikeforce Champion. I think it should be for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Title. If they find it within themselves to make it for the belt, I’d be very pleased.”
With his name already inked to a UFC contract, Daniel is anticipated to be one of the top ranked fighters to come into the UFC from another organization. But the former Olympic wrestler and Grand Prix champ still has to decide which weight class he’ll come into the UFC and compete at. With close friend and training partner from American Kickboxing Academy, Cain Velasquez, fighting for the title at heavyweight, Daniel said he’d consider dropping to light heavyweight to avoid fighting Cain for a title.
Cain will be fighting Junior dos Santos for the heavyweight title on December 29th and Cormier will wait for the result of the fight before he makes his decision to fight at heavyweight or 205. “Let’s see what happens. A lot of things are going to be in play,” Cormier said. “If I come over to the UFC as the number one contender and Cain’s the heavyweight champion, then I have some things to think about. But if somebody else is holding that belt, then yea, I’m gonna stay up at heavyweight.”
Daniel added that when he does enter the UFC, his name should be near the top of the list for title contenders.”I want to throw my name into the hat, if I’m able to get past Frank Mir,” he said. Then he made sure to remind the UFC brass that he’s on his way to come make some noise in the organization. “Hey guys don’t forget about me over here. I’ve been chuggin along and if I get through this fight, that’s three top ten guys in a row. I should be in line for a belt. I should get a shot at either of those divisions.”
If Cain does beat JDS and ends up holding the heavyweight title, Daniel said he’d like to fight Jon Jones at light heavyweight, or in a super fight, depending on the circumstances. “A lot of it depends on the Cain situation,” Cormier said of the possibility he drops to fight at 205 and gets a title fight against Jon Jones. “Standing across the cage from that guy would be great for me. I’d love to do at some point in my career. Even if I am maybe the heavyweight champion and there’s a chance to make a super fight, we could figure something out him and I, because I would not back down from that opportunity.”
He should just drop down to LHW after this fight. Even if Cain loses, he still won’t be too far from a title shot bc HW is a shallow division. Their paths will have to cross if both are HWs. By dropping down, he won’t have to even think about fighting his friend/teammate at all & he’ll be a big LHW with speed & power. Obvious choice IMO.