Opinion: Frank Mir, Daniel Cormier Look to Compete For Title Shot
By Michael Hatamoto
UFC heavyweights Frank Mir and Daniel Cormier both have a lot on the line when they step into the cage at UFC on FOX 7 in San Jose on Saturday.
Cormier, the former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion and US Olympian, has absolutely nothing to lose when he makes his long-awaited UFC debut on April 20. Meanwhile, Mir is the former UFC heavyweight champion and hopes to claw his way back into the title picture after losing by TKO to Junior dos Santos at UFC 146 last May.
Win or lose, I think Cormier is better suited making a drop down from heavyweight to light heavyweight – there is no way Cormier would fight teammate Velasquez, and the UFC likely doesn’t want Cormier interfering with other potential matchups. Besides that, a match against UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, assuming he beats Chael Sonnen, would be quite a unique fight.
Cormier is thinking about it but it’s not distracting him:
“I’m not really thinking about the 205-pound weight class right now,” Cormier noted during a telephone conference call.
Though I am sure trying to promote a Junior Dos Santos vs. Cormier fight, however, would be much easier than pushing for a JDS vs. Mir II fight later this year.
Mir is an excellent BJJ practitioner with a strong wrestling base, providing him the ability to end the fight any time it hits the ground. Since deciding to shake things up and head to Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico, I’ll be curious to see what type of game plan Mir brings to the table – and his overall physical condition – as he very well could have rejuvenated his career (again).
I look forward to seeing what happens if Cormier drags Mir to the mat, as Cormier should be able to secure the takedown – but Mir will continually look for opportunities to sweep, or try to sink in a submission.
The heavyweight division has been given a new lifeline as Antonio Silva will rematch Velasquez in a heavyweight title fight, with Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira also hoping to earn a shot at the heavyweight title.