Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier wasn’t happy that his fight on Nov. 3 got cancelled, but it wasn’t because he’s racing towards his UFC future.
The former Olympian has one fight left on his current deal with Strikeforce, and then following that bout he will shift over to the UFC with the rest of the heavyweights that have already been in the promotion for the past several months.
Cormier defeated Josh Barnett earlier this year to win the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, and he has one fight left before making the move, but now with the Nov. 3 card being scrapped, he has to wait until at least January to finish that final fight.
According to Cormier, however, the final bout with Strikeforce is anything but a negative to him. The only problem is the fight isn’t actually getting scheduled and happening any time soon.
“I don’t view that extra fight as a negative thing. Because Showtime and Strikeforce, they made an investment in me. They gave me a chance to make some money, they gave me a chance to build my career on their network, and I want to do the last fight,” Cormier told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
“This is not a negative for me, but it’s not happening. That’s when it starts to become kind of difficult.”
Cormier was originally slated to face former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir on the card, but after he fell out due to injury, Zuffa officials failed to secure a suitable replacement. A couple more injuries to main card fighters eventually forced the promotion to pull the entire card and reschedule for a major event in January.
Strikeforce has been Cormier’s home since his first professional MMA bout back in 2009, and he wants to show loyalty by fighting this one final time for them before his career picks back up in the UFC.
“I keep getting asked if I’m going to say enough is enough and I’m going to the UFC? No, and I always go back to when I was at Oklahoma State, I had some opportunities to go coach other places, but John Smith and the staff at Oklahoma State, they allowed me to an education, so my commitment was to them, and it’s like that with Strikeforce,” said Cormier.
“If that one last fight after everything else is one thing I can give back. I’m fine with that, but let’s just kind of get it done.”
If there is a light at the end of the tunnel of this entire ordeal, it’s that Cormier may secure his original opponent for the next Strikeforce card in January.
While nothing has been confirmed as of yet, Cormier hopes that Mir will be healthy and ready to go by the beginning of the New Year, and they can still have their bout in Strikeforce before both competitors move to the UFC later in 2013.
“We give Frank three more months to get healthy for the fight, if that’s not reason enough to think well he’s out in November, but maybe he’ll be fine in January, then we get to have that big fight,” Cormier stated.
“I can give Showtime their fight, and also they get a huge fight. That’s one positive thing that maybe Frank will be healthy by January.”
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