Heavyweight Daniel Cormier was supposed to fight Frank Mir last November before things fell apart at the last minute due to injury. When Cormier’s spot on the UFC was cemented shortly thereafter, the unbeaten American Kickboxing Academy staple made it clear he still wanted to face Mir based on both the former UFC champion’s accomplishments in the sport as well as it being a bout he was confident in winning.
Mir never backed away from the challenge of trying to do what others like Antonio Silva and Josh Barnett could not in beating Cormier, as it appears his future foe’s overwhelming interest in the fight has stoked a fire burning in the Las Vegas native’s gut. According to Mir, he’s not only motivated, but he’s also mixing it up this time around by heading out to Albuquerque to train with Greg Jackson in hopes of extending an ice cold welcome to Cormier at UFC on FOX 7.
“I’ve always felt I have great trainers so there was no reason to leave, but my wife and I were talking about how I needed to change things up. One of the things was maybe I should get out of town and get more focused,” said Mir of moving camp in an interview with ESPN. “I’ve always been impressed with Greg Jackson’s game planning. I figured, before I retire, I want to be a part of that and see what makes this guy so successful.”
Regarding the test in front of him, Mir isn’t buying into the hype surrounding Cormier considering the number of wins he holds over relatively unknown competitors rather than high-level threats.
“Level of competition is important. He’s done most of his damage in Strikeforce. Not to downplay Strikeforce, but it’s not the UFC,” offered Mir on the topic. “I think it’s going to be another one of those things where people are destined to be disappointed. After our fight, he’s already said he’s going to 205 pounds. That doesn’t sound like a confident guy who wants to stay at heavyweight.”
The 33-year old Mir also doesn’t have any problem putting Cormier on the shelf for an extended period of time either, giving the undersized heavyweight a chance to slim down to 205 if so desired, apparently telling one of his trainers, “I’ll sign his cast after the fight,” when first approached about the match-up.
With bad blood starting to simmer between the two, April 20 can’t arrive soon enough. Mir is 16-6 with twelve stoppages including past wins over Brock Lesnar and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Comparably, Cormier holds an 11-0 mark including five TKOs and three submissions.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/STRIKEFORCE