Daniel Cormier Believes Beating Frank Mir is the Perfect Introduction to UFC Fans

July 26, 2012
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Daniel Cormier - Strikeforce Grand Prix ChampionStrikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier was having a regular day at training like any other, hitting pads and helping his teammates like he does any Wednesday. But this day took a turn for the positive when he finished up his workout, and noticed he had a slew of messages on his phone, as well as a flood of Twitter responses awaiting his viewing.

“I was getting out of training because I thought I fought Sept. 29. So I was in the gym working out, starting my training camp. On Wednesday nights I hit mits with Javier (Mendes), and I got done and I was sitting on the side watching him work Shawn Bunch. Bob (Cook), my manager, told me today he’s like ‘they’re trying to bring over a bigger named guy, we don’t know who it is yet, but they’ll let us know something soon’,” Cormier told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday night.

“So Bunch went on Twitter cause I put a picture up of him hitting pads and he goes ‘I guess you’re fighting Frank Mir.’ So I started fumbling with my phone and I got a call from Daniel Rubenstein and he tells me that it’s a done deal, cause Ruby knows everything.”

Just like the rest of the world, Cormier found out via Twitter that he would indeed be facing former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir for his final fight in Strikeforce later this year. While a date and location have not been determined, the bout is likely to take place in October or November and will close the book on the Strikeforce heavyweight division forever.

Just over a week ago, Cormier heard once again via the internet that he was expected to face former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia for his final bout in Strikeforce. Now make no mistake, Cormier would have been happy to face any opponent, but when he got word that Frank Mir was going to be the name on his bout agreement, he certainly perked up.

“It’s like knowing I was going to fight Josh Barnett. There’s only a few guys in the world that their names ring that much and it’s so resounding when it comes to what they’ve done in this sport. So I was pumped up,” Cormier stated.

“Tim Sylvia’s accomplished a lot, but he just hasn’t really fought in the top of the sport for a while. No disrespect to Tim, but this is a much easier fight to get pumped up for. I dropped my phone a couple of times while I was trying to look at Twitter.”

Mir’s willingness to go to Strikeforce, even if it is only for one fight before they both head to the UFC in 2013, is still unprecedented because up till now that’s been the biggest complaint by many fighters competing in Zuffa’s sister promotion.

UFC fighters haven’t been willing to give up a bigger viewing audience and the marquee name that goes along with fighting in the Octagon to compete in Strikeforce.

When the offer came in, Mir was happy to make the move to go over and give Cormier the big fight he’s been waiting for. The former Olympian gave thanks to the executives at Zuffa, like UFC president Dana White, for making this deal possible.

“You’ve got to tip your hat off to the executives at Zuffa for doing something like that and to Frank Mir for doing it. I respect Frank greatly for stepping in and taking this fight. This fight can elevate my status in the sport a ton,” said Cormier.

Beyond Mir’s standing as a multi-time former UFC heavyweight champion, he’s also one of the most recognized fighters in the sport. His last fight was a headlining championship bout at UFC 146 against Junior dos Santos, and Mir has headlined more than his fair share of big shows including his part as the biggest card in history when he faced Brock Lesnar at UFC 100.

Cormier believes that facing Mir will raise his stock not only in the heavyweight division, but also to the casual UFC viewers who might tune in to see the bout because Mir is involved.

“The reality is Frank Mir is a guy people from the UFC know. He’s been a champion. He’s always around the top of the sport. Frank Mir is going to introduce me to the UFC fans a little bit more than I would fighting a different guy,” said Cormier.

Now it’s on to the business of getting ready for the fight with Mir, and that will be the only name on Cormier’s mind for the next few months.

He’s already begun his preparation, but he knows in his heart that he’s already had the best training ever to face Mir because Cormier has already defeated a man he believes is superior to his next opponent.

“There’s no motivation like fighting a champion. I respect Frank, the fight’s very similar to Josh Barnett. I think Josh Barnett is better,” Cormier revealed.

“No disrespect to Frank, but I think Josh is better and I’m going to train as if I’m fighting Josh Barnett again, and let’s see how this fight plays out.”

The last time Cormier prepared like that, he dominated Barnett for the better part of 25 minutes en route to winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. If he can duplicate that performance, Frank Mir’s lone trip to Strikeforce may not have a happy ending.

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  • Mario

    Interesting development.

    I like Cormier in that one.

  • Mir is a great test for anyone, he’s so well rounded and experienced. If Cormier beats him then I’d like to see him face JDS if he beats Cain again. But then again we run into this problem of team mates fighting.

  • used2bgood

    Though Cormier has olympic wrestler status he is no match for the top of the food chain in the UFC. I mean that JDS is unstoppable right now and pretty much no one can match his greatness.

    • BlackDog2009

      what? “greatness” ?? GTFOH with that shit! Cormier is coming and JDS should be ready. It will be a great fight.

  • smill0313

    Why is he excited to fight somebody who just got their butt handed to them in their LAST fight? This isint using mir as a gatekeeper, more like a sacrificial lamb. I see this as lose-lose for cormier. If he beats mir, he was supposed to, easily. If he loses to mir, or doesnt finish him, it takes alot of stock out of cormier facing jds in the future.

  • BlackDog2009

    Ok wait, so now Cormier is supposed to beat Mir? This isn’t WWE, in MMA anyone can lose. It could have been Tim Silvia and even he had a chance against Cormier. I’ve seen so many fights where the odds were heavily for one fighter and then bam! I still say Cormier beats Mir, but not because he’s supposed to but because Cormier is better except maybe in the Jiu Jitsu dept. Cormier and BArnett had the best hw fight of 2012 imo. But even though I don’t like Mir (who just lost to JDS by they way, not some schmuck) he might still beat Cormier. Make no mistake though, win or lose Cormier is UFC bound!

  • I think this will be the first in a long series of fights showing how weak the Strike Force champs are. I don’t think Mir will win easily, but he will win.

    205…do they even have a light heavy champ?

    185…Rockhold is good…but any of the guys in the title hunt in UFC will beat him

    170…this is the only one who I would give a chance too. Marquardt looked impressive @ 170. I don’t know if he would beat GSP but if Condit has the belt then maybe.

    155…Melendez is a joke…another Hector Lombard type champ. Hasn’t fought anyone tough in years, but still thinks he’s the best in the world. I would say any of the top UFC 155ers walk through him. When was the last time he finished a fight??

    • RonnieV

      You’re a moron!

      • smill0313

        Is he a moron because he stated an opinion, then it explained in detail, or is he a moron for being correct? Strikeforce champs arent jokes? Is that why Lombard just lost to a mid-tier fighter? Or why Gil is steady fighting nobodies? Or rockhold fighting the likes of jardine for a title? With that being said, Cormier beats mir and marquardt couldnt beat gsp or condit at 170

    • BlackDog2009

      Beaver: what are you stupid?? In case you didn’t know it’s Strikeforce’s heavy weights that brought UFC’s hw division back to life. Before then it was Pat Barry, Mitrione and Shaub who were considered the future. Lesnar was sitting at home faking illness, Cain was hurt, Carwin was hurt and JDS was the only one making progress. In came Overeem who sent Lesnar packing thank God. Lavar sent Beltran to sleep. Nick Diaz beat the crap out of Penn, sending him into temporary retirement. Hendo also came over from STrikeforce to put a whooping on Rua. And GSP barely passed by Shields. Like the other guy said. You’re a moron.

      • dathump

        ok, all the fighters you mentioned coming from strikeforce are not really strikforce fighters. almost all of them are pride fighters, just stop by strikforce until the UFC came calling, or didn’t want to deal with Dana, and they dominated in strikeforce. There has yet to be a discovered strickforce fighter compete at the upper level of the UFC, they hype train almost always stops. sSee if you can name one strikeforce fighter that isn’t a vetern of another large mma promotion (UFC, Pride, WEC)that has been able to hang at the top of the UFC

  • felix

    Well Cormier, now you’ll be playing with the big boys. Lets see how much your undefeated streak last. Good luck.

    • Lesnardo

      Frank Mir is not really one of the big boys of the UFC.

      Mir is now the new Heath Herring.

      • RonnieV

        I think this is a great fight! For you guys knocking Mir, get a life! He’s 7-3 in the last five years, and all his losses were to the champ or the #1 contender at the time. He’s beat Big Nog twice, Lesnar, Crocop, Kongo, and Roy Nelson in that stretch. He’s still ranked in the Top 10 by every website, so piss off! Some of you guys will hate no matter how accomplished these guys are! Btw, they are the best of the best in the world! What are you good at… oh yeah… being a keyboard warrior!

        • xenolord

          I agree with you Ronnie. I don’t know how Mir is suddenly seen as a chump. He’s been near the top of the HW division for what seems like an eternity. Cormier is going to have all he can handle with Frank. If things aren’t going well for Cormier on the feet he can’t rely on a ground control game without constantly defending submissions. I think this fight could end up being one of the best HW bouts of the year but I’ll give Cormier the nod in the end.

          • Lesnardo

            “I don’t know how Mir is suddenly seen as a chump.”

            Mir has been seen as a chump ever since he got KTFO by Carwin.

            He will never touch the belt again.

        • dathump

          I agree, Never count Mir out, plus Cormier is a wrestler by nature, and going to the ground with Mir is never a good idea. On top of that Cormier will be giving up 30 plus pounds to Mir as well. Mir is a big step up in compition from anything he has faced to date.

          • BlackDog2009

            Wrong. Barnett is much more accomplished and skilled than Mir. Cormier dismantled BArnett for 5 rnds. Best hw fight of 2012 so far!

          • Lesnardo

            I have always counted Mir out when Mir goes up against another top 10 opponent and I made a lot of money doing so.

            Mir vs Lesnar II: Made money
            Mir vs Kongo: Made money
            Mir vs Carwin: Made money
            Mir vs CroCop: Made money
            Mir vs Nelson: Made money
            Mir vs JDS: Made money

            Pretty much any top 10 guy vs Mir, you should bet on the top 10 guy. FYI, Big Nog is NOT top 10.

          • dathump

            Lesnardo, you are a moron, to bad you are busy checking everyones spelling, not your facts!!
            mir vs congo- mir by submission
            mir vs nelson- mir
            mir vs cro cop -mir by ko
            so if you were betting against mir on all 6 fights you listed you would be even. Not sure how you made money on those fights but i can just imagine.
            and Blackdog, Who has Barnett fought in the past 10 years that is still relevant? Brett rogers?

    • Lesnardo

      FYI, the big boys of the UFC are JDS/Cain/Overeem. Outside of those three, and maybe Carwin, UFC HWs are only as good as the top guys at SF. Werdum, Mir, Nog are comparable to Sergei, Barnett, Cormier. In fact, I would put Cormier above Werdum, Mir, and Nog.

  • maddawgmar

    This is a good match up stylistically speaking. Mir won’t take Cormier down and Cormier won’t take Mir down. This fight will be contested on the feet. Mir has some decent stand up, but Cormier has decent stand up too. Cormier hasn’t fought someone who has good head movement like Mir. If Mir can test Cormiers chin like he did Kongo he could force Cormier to take him down. I like this fight very much. As a Mir fan I will be rooting for him to break something.

  • atmosphere

    Mir is slightly below Barnett in just about every skillset, so I don’t imagine Mir being a huge threat to Cormier

    however, as Cormier said, this’ll really elevate his status if he does win

  • elguapo

    Man, I hate it when people write off a fighter after a loss. How can anyone write disparaging remarks about someone who’s had the career he’s had? He’s been in or around the top 5 for years and only lost to the best fighters out there (he’s also beaten some of the best there is). It seems some people on here only rate the top three fighters in a division to be any good, and the rest are either washed up or no-hopers. Frankly, I’ve you’ve made it to the UFC, or strikeforce for that matter, then you are a major league fighter.

  • dgs

    “There’s no motivation like fighting a champion. I respect Frank, the fight’s very similar to Josh Barnett. I think Josh Barnett is better,” Cormier revealed.

    I agree with this statement. I was in awe watching his fight Barnett, and seeing a man with nine previous professional fights pretty much tool a fighter with 37 pro fights under his belt. The only other fighter I can think who has performed so impressively with so little relative experience is Jon Jones.

    I think Mir presents very little challenge to Cormier in this one.

  • maddawgmar

    “Barnett is better tha Mir in every way.” You have to be kidding me. Mir has the best Jitz game in the HW division if not the UFC. His stand up has improved and I think better than Barnett. The only thing that is better for Barnett is his wrestling, but take Mir down and see how it turns out. Just ask Lesnardos boy Nog.

  • Booker T

    Hope Cormier knocks the crap out of the vegetarian weak minded Mir. Same way the weak minded vegetarian Jake Shields got taken out. Beef and pork baby and you’ll be a winner!!