Daniel Cormier Focused on Frank Mir, But Says Move to Light-Heavyweight Still Possible: “I Want to be the UFC Champion”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Of all the Strikeforce competitors who have moved over to the UFC, Daniel Cormier has captured some of the most attention, and for good reason. The 34 year-old-fighter is one of the most accomplished wrestlers to transition into MMA, he has gone undefeated in eleven pro bouts, and won Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand-Prix. Then, there’s also the fact that Cormier called out UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones back in January, before ever stepping into the Octagon. That’s not a bad way to get the word out to fans who have never watched a MMA fight, unless Mike Goldberg is calling it.
Now, of course, Cormier will make his long awaited Octagon debut against Frank Mir at UFC on FOX 7 on April 20th. Despite the fact Cormier is set to take on a former UFC champion, who has more than twice the fights that he does, the renowned wrestler can’t get away from a line of questioning that doesn’t pertain to Mir.
Not only is speculation rampant as to whether Cormier will move down in weight, as a result of telling the MMA world he’s going to kick Jon Jones’ “ass”, but because his training partner is current heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez. Much to the chagrin of many fans and UFC President Dana White, Cormier has said he’s not interested in fighting his teammate and friend. Thus, the continued questions about Cormier’s future plans, during a press call that was held, in part, to promote his fight with Mir.
“I’ve got such an important fight on my hands in this next one, so I’ve kind of strayed away from that thought process,” Cormier noted in the media call, when asked if he’s still thinking about moving to light-heavyweight and if he plans on doing a test weight cut before making a final decision. “I’m not really thinking about the 205 pound division right now.”
“I’ve stated it time and time again that I want to be the UFC champion and if that means going down to the weight below, then I would do that,” added Cormier, who scored wins over Antonio Silva and Josh Barnett to win Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand-Prix. “But, I have the toughest fight of my career in front of me, in two weeks, and I can’t focus on that right now. For me to have stated that, I would consider it, means that I am confident that I can make weight…once we get past Frank then we talk about that other stuff.”
If some observers and fans are looking past Cormier’s bout with Mir, the latter has certainly done his part to promote the upcoming bout. In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Mir relayed that he believes Cormier may have a “false sense of security”, due to the fact he is coming off a win over a noted grappler in Josh Barnett. Mir argued, however, that he is a more dangerous submission artist than Barnett, and that if Cormier makes a mistake, a “limb” might be going “home” with him.
“I’m not really big on fighting with emotion,” said Cormier, while discussing whether Mir’s comments both him, or if he passes them off as orchestrated statements that are designed to promote the fight. “I’m not going to fight with any emotion; there’s nothing Frank can ever say about me that’s going to make me fight a fight that’s more dangerous.”
“I really don’t know,” Cormier added. “I said it time and time again that I think there’s only a few individuals that can take the beatings that Frank has taken, and all this stuff, and still continue to be the way he is…I’m hoping it’s promotion, because if that’s the way his mind works, then that’s very disturbing.”
UFC on FOX 7 will be hosted by San Jose’s HP Pavilion and will be broadcast live on FOX.