When former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion Frank Mir came down with an injury that forced him off his Nov. 2 showdown against Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner, Daniel Cormier, it was a big blow not only to Mir, but to "DC," too.
One of two remaining big men in Strikeforce (the other being Josh Barnett) Cormier was prepared to take on one of the most seasoned veterans in mixed martial arts (MMA) after previously defeating perhaps his toughest opponent to date, the aforementioned Barnett, back on May 19, 2012, to win the promotion's heavyweight tournament.
A win over Mir would have been a huge momentum boost for the undefeated (10-0) fighter, who is eagerly awaiting his chance to prove his skills and toughness with the best competition the UFC has to offer. Having stepped inside the Octagon 20 times before, Mir would have provided a very tough challenge for the former Olympic wrestler, before making the eventual jump to the worlds leading MMA organization.
With plans on still competing on the November Strikeforce event, Cormier patiently awaits a call from the ZUFFA matchmakers to see who exactly he will battle in his last outing inside the Hexagon.
If you ask him, he only wants to fight the best guy available who will provide a stiff test, as well as get him close to a title shot, according to ESPN:
"I kind of look at the big picture on a lot of things; so looking at the big picture and what that fight could have done for me in terms of visibility, the advancement of my career, it was disappointing. But I have to be focused on whoever they put out in front of me. Frank Mir was perfect. He made perfect sense. He'd just gotten off a title shot. He's a big name; he's always in title contention. It just made sense. I've heard that Fabricio Werdum stepped up and said that he would fight; Pat Barry said he wanted the fight, even Roy Nelson. There are guys who want to fight, it's a big fight. But it's also a matter of how big a fight they want to get in terms of title-shot implications. Certain people, if it is Fabricio, it almost becomes a top-contender fight in Strikeforce rather than in the UFC. I still want to fight tough guys. The best guy they can actually get for me would be great. It's a matter of who they can get that makes sense. I've dealt with disappointment before on a way bigger scale than this. I've learned to deal with it, it still [stinks]. I will get by; I'll focus on the guy in front of me. You have to be a professional and I am."
Being an undersized heavyweight when compared to guys such as Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos, Cormier has proven that his "fight" is just as big as the rest of the division's competitors. However, if a fight is right at light heavyweight, "DC" wouldn't be opposed to make the weight cut to 205 pounds:
"If the right fight (at light heavyweight) presents itself I will definitely consider it. After this fight, it's over. I get to go to the UFC and take my place among the rest of the heavyweights because they're (Strikeforce) no more. It's exciting. It's exciting to finish that part of my journey. That part of my career is over. Strikeforce is over after this fight. Now I can move on to the bigger things and the big things in UFC."
Should Cormier prove successful against whoever he's paired up with and his friend, Cain Velasquez, does the same against current UFC Heavyweight kingpin, Junior dos Santos, in their rematch on Dec. 29, 2012, at UFC 155, a drop down to 205-pounds isn't too far-fetched for Cormier.
The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) training partners have stated they will not fight each other should their paths cross. First things first, however, as Cormier eagerly awaits his next and final challenge inside Strikeforce.
Who do you think would be the best available opponent for "DC's" Strikeforce swan song?