Daniel Cormier: Dion Staring is Dangerous Because He Said Yes When So Many Others Said No

January 11, 2013
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Daniel Cormier - Strikeforce Grand Prix ChampionThe last few months for Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier have been filled with disappointment and displeasure because no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t get a fight.

Cormier was originally scheduled to meet former UFC champion Frank Mir in November for his final fight in Strikeforce in what should have been a very interesting crossover match-up. Unfortunately, Mir suffered an injury and had to drop off the card.

Offers then went out to two more UFC heavyweights – Cheick Kongo and Matt Mitrione – and both turned down the short-notice fight with Cormier. Not long after that the entire card was scrapped.

So when Cormier finally got the call for a fight on Jan. 12 he was elated and it really didn’t matter to him who the opponent was, he just wanted to get back in action. Admittedly, there was a look of confusion on just about everybody’s face when the name on the other end of the bout agreement was journeyman fighter and Strikeforce newcomer Dion Staring.

A mainstay of primarily European fight cards, Staring is a 34-year-old Dutch competitor who literally came out of nowhere to sign up for the fight against Cormier.

Staring will enter the night as a huge underdog with just about the world picking against him, but Cormier is approaching this match-up with a whole other idea of what he’s about to face in the cage. Dion Staring said yes when a list of other top fighters, including two UFC heavyweights, said thanks, but no thanks.

“No one expected it to be Dion, but that’s what makes Dion such a dangerous opponent. Because where as all these other guys said ‘no’ for whatever reason – Matt (Mitrione) said it was because of his wrestling, it’s not good enough and that’s my biggest strength, I don’t know why Cheick Kongo said no, Frank Mir got hurt – but what makes Dion so dangerous is he probably said yes right away,” Cormier told MMAWeekly Radio recently.

“It took no convincing. They offered this guy the fight and he said yes. In his mind there’s a belief somewhere that he can beat me.”

That personal belief could make Staring a very dangerous opponent because he enters this fight with absolutely nothing to lose.

Staring isn’t a fighter who has been biting and scratching and clawing just to hopefully one day get a shot in the UFC, or even reach the pinnacle of Strikeforce before now. He was just a fighter who was making a living fighting, but now he could pull off one of the biggest upsets in MMA history if he can beat Cormier.

The former two-time Olympian is well aware of what Staring brings to the table, and how he’s the most dangerous of opponents because no one expects him to win.

Meanwhile, everybody is already talking about Cormier fighting in the UFC, facing Frank Mir next, and possibly challenging UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in the future.

Looking past any opponent can be a big mistake and that’s something Cormier refuses to do, but beyond just winning, he wants to win big. Cormier wants to go to the UFC with a one-sided victory over Staring because if he can’t put him away or somehow has to squeak out a split decision, it will seem like a loss.

“I have a responsibility to myself and my team to actually do what I’m supposed to do, and do it in a way that I don’t hurt myself in the process. There’s many ways I can actually go into this fight and come out losing even if I don’t necessarily lose,” said Cormier.

“I’ve got to go out there and do what I’m supposed to do, but do it in a way that I expect and like my coaches and team expect. I’ve got to go in there and perform. There’s a lot of ways to lose without actually losing.”

Losing isn’t an option for Daniel Cormier and he hasn’t experienced it yet in his MMA career. He doesn’t plan to start on Jan. 12, and he doesn’t intend on Dion Staring getting the best of him in any way, shape or form.

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all the latest Strikeforce news and fight coverage.

  • The only problem I see with DC is that him and Cain are training partners. But well see what happens b/c the UFC is stacked with competition for him.

    • Sir_Roy

      I think we are starting to see a breadth of professionalism open up in that regard though. Friendship, partnership and camaraderie between elite fighters is all well and good – but ultimately, you disrespect the fans, the fight game and, in essence, yourself when you turn down opportunity and refuse to fight the best – which just may end up being a friend and comrade.

      It’s the fight game. Honor them by stepping into the octagon with them. Honor them by showing the world who the more deserving fighter is.

      Many are now able to move past the naivete implicit in the belief that it’s only loyal not to accept a fight against a training partner, only loyal to pass up opportunity in deference to a friend. Yes, it denotes a brand of loyalty, but ironically, any loyalty is ultimately overshadowed at the disrespect directly or indirectly thrown in the face of the sport IMHO.

      • I agree. I would most certainly want my friend to fight me if we both cleaned out the division and earned our top spots. I wouldn’t want to hold my friend back from getting the title.

      • adam1848

        I agree, for the most part. I personally have no problem with close friends refusing to fight each other as long as one of them moves up or down a weight class. But if you are in the same division, you need to be prepared to fight each other, end of story, in my opinion.

  • urdooomb

    I agree with CombatScience. There is no need to worry about DC vs Cain just yet. The UFC HW division is stacked with good fighters.

    Should Cormier beat Dion, he should get Frank Mir or Roy Nelson. After that Werdum or Carwin. After that JDS or Reem.

  • Booker T

    I really like Cormier. He’s had hardship in life. Lost his dad at age seven and lost his daughter to a car accident. He still walks with a nice smile. Hope he becomes a UFC champion. He deserves it.

    • jeremy

      He doesnt deserve to be champ because he has had hardships. although my heart goes out to the man. But the only way and reason you deserve to be champ is if you beat the champ. I hope he does good, but i dont think he will. I think he’s overrated but the next year will tell.

  • Janis S

    But if you had fight like Cain vs JDS 2? would you beat your friend like that?

  • jeremy

    I think this guy is overrated , hiss claim to fame is the tournament. he was nothing before that and i think he will fall flat on his face after. let’s wait to see what he can do against actual good HW.

  • adam1848

    2007 World Championships Bronze
    2007 Pan American Games Bronze
    2003 Pan American Championships Gold
    2002 – 2008 United States Championships Gold
    2004 Olympic’s 4th place
    2008 US Olympic Team Captain

    All of this at 211 lbs.

    Plus wins over two top 10 HWs and one of the best BJJ practitioners in the HW division in Jeff Monson. I think it is really hard to call Cormier overrated considering the caliber athlete he is and the success he has had in MMA in such a short period of time. He is 33, which is far from over the hill, and trains with a fantastic camp. I think with his power, wrestling, and take down defense, he can probably hang with anyone in the HW division, but if he takes a loss or two, he can easily drop down to 205 and give problems to everyone in the division except the champ. I personally really like this guy and look forward to his entrance into the UFC, but any time you face a guy with nothing to lose it can be dangerous…just hope he is focused on the task at hand and he should walk right through Staring.