A sizable chunk of MMA fans see Daniel Cormier as a legitimate player in the heavyweight division based on the unbeaten grappler’s success over Antonio Silva and Josh Barnett. Still, many others have never even seen him compete considering Cormier’s wins have all occurred outside of the Octagon. That will change in less than two weeks when Cormier mixes it up with former champion Frank Mir at UFC on FOX 7.
Though Mir knows Cormier has skill to support some of the praise being heaped on his shoulders, the 33-year old doesn’t feel he’ll boost his stock by facing an adversary some people have never heard of outside of promotion for the April 20 event.
“(He has) nothing to lose. He goes out and fights somebody else that’s lower ranked, and he comes out and loses, he loses a lot of stock. He goes out against me, changes levels, takes a shot, I guillotine him and choke him out in, let’s say, 40 seconds. Does it really take anything away from his stock? No,” explained Mir in an interview with MMAFighting. “He can still stand up and go, ‘Well guys, I got submitted by Mir, (joined) the laundry list of people that have been submitted by him. I’m going to go to light heavyweight.’ And he still has all the same momentum he had when he first started. All his fans will be able to just remark on the fact that, ‘Well, you know, Mir caught him. He stepped in right off the bat. That’s Mir, you know? Mir catches a lot of people.’ So he can actually lose and not lose anything.”
“Whereas, let’s say he fights Todd Duffee, who’s very capable of knocking his teeth down his throat, but Todd Duffee doesn’t have the same notoriety that I do. He’s 2-1 in the UFC, so it’s more of a dangerous fight,” added Mir.
Mir also wasn’t overly impressed by Cormier’s victory against Barnett, arguably his biggest to date. Barnett has been a Top 5 heavyweight for years and turned in an exciting, albeit losing, five-round effort against Cormier last May.
“I think he has kind of a false sense of security (from) fighting against Josh. You know, he feels like, ‘Well, Josh caught me and couldn’t finish me.’ Barnett’s a great grappler, but he’s not known for smashing people’s limbs off. If I catch something, and it’s close, I put people in the hospital,” said Mir. “How many bones has Barnett broken? How many people has he put in the hospital?”
“Anybody at heavyweight can hope for a knockout. But I hunt them down and see them. And as far as submissions go, if he makes a mistake, then I’ll take one of his limbs home,” he confidently concluded.
Mir-Cormier will serve as the co-headliner at UFC on FOX 7. The 16-6 Mir hasn’t fought since being knocked out by Junior dos Santos in a title-bout but had strung together wins over Mirko Filipovic, Roy Nelson, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira going into the tilt. Comparably, Cormier is 11-0 with eight stoppages under his belt.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY