Strikeforce Heavyweight standout Daniel Cormier will continue to fight "higher caliber" fighters than Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Champion Jon Jones "at this stage" of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career when he collides with Dion Staring at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.
Strikeforce tonight announced a "memorable and historic card for the fans in the 'Sooner State'" that features three of its champions -- Luke Rockhold, Nate Marquardt and Gilbert Melendez -- on the Showtime-televised main card, as well as its Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament winner, Cormier, all competing on the same night.
Is it "stacked" as promised? We'll let you be the judge.
Cormier, meanwhile, was holding out hope that he would get the opportunity to test his skills against former UFC champion Frank Mir in a one-time, one-off promotional crossover bout that was originally scheduled to take place last weekend (Nov. 3, 2012). However, Mir was forced off the card with an injury, the entire event was eventually canceled when it lost all its limited star power and now it's clear the match won't happen anytime soon.
Enter Staring, a Dutch import who trains alongside none other than maligned UFC contender Alistair Overeem. "The Soldier" has plied his trade primarily on the international circuit, most recently compiling a six-fight win streak that earned him an invitation to compete under the Strikeforce banner.
Win or lose, it will likely be his last opportunity.
Cormier is coming off the biggest win of his professional MMA career, outpointing the battle-tested and very dangerous Josh Barnett earlier this year to win the promotion's eight-man tournament as a replacement for Overeem. He is expected to jump to the UFC after he satisfies the last fight on his contract, which is now against a relative unknown commodity rather than the "names" like Mir, Fabricio Werdum, Matt Mitrione and even Tim Sylvia who had been bandied about.
It's better than nothing.
"DC" will join a fight card that features three championship fights: Luke Rockhold vs. Lorenz Larkin for the middleweight title, Nate Marquardt vs. Tarec Saffiedine for the welterweight strap and Gilbert Melendez vs. Pat Healy for the lightweight title belt. The event is supposed to be Strikeforce's last before folding (read the report here), with its most talented fighters transitioning to the UFC shortly thereafter.
For more on the Jan. 12, 2013, Strikeforce event be sure to hit up our complete event archive right here.