If you pay a visit to the Strikeforce website you’ll find that the promotion has a fight card scheduled for November 3. What you won’t find are the names of the two fighters that will be headlining that bout. Listed as the main event are Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament winner Daniel Cormier versus TBD.
Cormier captured the Grand Prix tournament crown by dominating former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett over the course of five rounds on May 19, 2012. Cormier was then booked to face another former UFC champ, Frank Mir, but an injury forced Mir from the card.
The injury to Mir was first reported on September 19 and yet here we are, less than one month away from the November 3 card and Cormier has no clue who his opponent will be.
The fight was offered to UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione, but he turned it down, much to the chagrin of UFC president Dana White, who tore into Mitrione for his decision, "It f---ing makes me sick," White said in the post-fight media roundup. "Listen, you don't want big opportunities, I hear you. I get it, then. I get it you don’t want big opportunities. All I can say is, I guess he doesn't want big opportunities. I get it. Duly noted."
Since then, we've had nothing but silence. Cormier is handling this all like a trouper, joking about it in video and on Twitter, but the reality is that this is no laughing matter. Unless, you’re shaking your head and laughing at the absurdity of the situation.
I understand that the November 3 fight is going to be the last time Cormier will step into the cage for Strikeforce, but Cormier is the No. 1 draw for the promotion outside of Ronda Rousey, why the promotion can’t find a fight for this guy is beyond me. Mir seemed more than happy to take a fight with Cormier, why another UFC heavyweight won’t step up is confounding.
Strikeforce needed to find Cormier an opponent soon after Mir dropped out of the fight and then promoted the hell out of that fight.
Cormier is being hailed as a possible UFC champion, a fighter that could honestly compete for both the light heavyweight and heavyweight titles—and for once that’s not hyperbole. He’s that talented and frighteningly, still developing his skill set. To not capitalize on that fact is a huge mistake.
Cormier is a natural in front of the camera and one of the best interviews in MMA. His personality and charisma make him an easy sell. The fact that Cormier will move to the UFC after his final Strikeforce bout could also be used to build up interest in the November 3 fight.
The promotion could play up the threat Cormier offers to the UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. Instead, we get a huge question mark and honestly, doubts if Cormier will even fight on the card.
So here we are, less than a month away from what could be the biggest fight in Strikeforce heavyweight history and no one, including Cormier, knows who he is fighting.