Daniel Cormier: My First UFC Opponent Will Be Frank Mir

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Daniel Cormier: My First UFC Opponent Will Be Frank Mir
Photo credit: Sports Illustrated.com

Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion Daniel Cormier is looking forward to the day when he can join the UFC—and finally realize that fight with Frank Mir.

"My first fight in the UFC is going to be against Frank Mir regardless of what happens," Cormier said Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast with host Ariel Helwani. "...Frank Mir and I have some unfinished business. I had to put in a whole camp for Frank."

Cormier (10-0), a former Olympic wrestler, was scheduled to fight Mir Nov. 3, but Mir (16-6) pulled out with an injury. Other heavyweights, including current UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione, were submitted as possible replacements for Mir, but nothing came to fruition, and the entire card was cancelled.

Cormier is now set to fight the relatively unknown Dion Staring (28-7) on Jan. 12 in what is widely expected to be the final event for the Strikeforce promotion, Cormier will probably enter the UFC immediately after Strikeforce folds. 

Nevertheless, Cormier admitted Staring isn't quite the opponent he had hoped for, but noted he wasn't looking past the hard-hitting Dutchman, who trains with the Blackzilians camp in Florida. 

"I heard I was going to fight Frank Mir and then Matt Mitrione...Then they said Dion," Cormier said. "But it was just refocus, recharge and start working on Dion Staring."

Cormier said he wouldn't be in a position to ask for a title shot upon entering the UFC.

"It's not based on Dion's fighting, but again, his name recognition," Cormier said. "But I don't think I can ask for a title shot."

Cormier is a teammate of fellow heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez, who rematches Junior dos Santos at UFC 155 Dec. 29 for the heavyweight title. Cormier said he'd have to explore different options if different scenarios forces him to face Velasquez.

"I would much rather not fight Cain, and Cain has said that himself," Cormier said. "But I have to explore my options, and one of those is going down the weight below."

In the meantime, Cormier's focused on Dion Staring.

"He's very tough," Cormier said. "He fights anyone they put in front of him. He brings the fight every time. Just because he's not know doesn't mean he's not a good fighter."

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