Junior Dos Santos solidified his spot at the top heavyweight in the sport with a dominant knockout win over Frank Mir, while former champion Cain Velasquez may have secured a rematch for the title after obliterating Strikeforce transfer Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva.
One name that wasn’t on Saturday’s card but still managed to get some attention was newly crowned Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier.
The one time Olympian impressed just about everyone with his rousing and dominant performance to defeat Josh Barnett to win the Grand Prix title, and put his name on the short list of potential contenders for the UFC heavyweight title.
UFC President Dana White admits that he’d rather see Cormier at 205lbs, but says that his performance has certainly earned him a spot among the best heavyweights in the sport.
“Yes, he will end up coming over to the UFC. The thing is I’d love to see the guy go down to 205. I think he’s a small heavyweight over here,” White said at the UFC 146 post fight press conference.
“Listen, I respect Josh Barnett, he did work Barnett. Barnett fights like once a year, I’m not taking anything away from Barnett, but it’s a whole other ballgame over here.”
Cormier has talked in the past about his inability to cut down to 205lbs due to an issue with his kidneys that also prevented him from wrestling in the 2008 Olympics.
Like many fighters before him, White certainly has his preference for their weight class, but won’t dictate to anyone what division they will fight in.
“I’m not telling him, the guy wants to stay at heavyweight, I’m not going to tell him where to go, but I think it would be a good move for him to go to 205,” said White.
Cormier will eventually make his way to the UFC, but not before at least one more fight in Strikeforce later this year. The Grand Prix champion will first have surgery on Monday to repair a broken hand suffered in the fight against Barnett, and then he will look to return later this year for his final fight in the promotion.
The most positive news for Cormier on Saturday night however was with a continued winning streak, he will have a title shot awaiting him upon his arrival.
“If he comes over and wants to fight for the heavyweight championship, yes,” White answered when asked if Cormier would get an automatic title shot for his first fight in the UFC.
Now it’s up to Cormier to win his last fight in Strikeforce, and then it appears the former Olympian will have the chance to add more gold to his collection when he comes to the UFC.