Henderson vs. Melendez, Cormier vs. Mir Confirmed for UFC on Fox 7

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2013

Daniel Cormier will be getting his wish, and will fight Frank Mir on April 20 in San Jose at UFC on Fox 7.
Daniel Cormier will be getting his wish, and will fight Frank Mir on April 20 in San Jose at UFC on Fox 7.USA TODAY Sports

In line with earlier reports, Kevin Iole from Yahoo! Sports is confirming that UFC on Fox 7 will feature the UFC debuts of two of Strikeforce's hottest commodities.

First, Daniel Cormier will finally face Frank Mir. Cormier was initially penned to fight Mir in November at the aptly-named Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir. Mir had to pull out of the event with an injury and Zuffa was unable to secure a replacement in either Matt Mitrione or Pat Barry. The event was canceled, and Cormier would later go on to fight, and beat, promotional newcomer Dion Staring on Saturday at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine.

Cormier became an overnight star when he beat Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in 2011. Silva was heavily favored coming off his win over Fedor Emelianenko, but was knocked out in the first round. This advanced Cormier to the finals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, where he beat Josh Barnett and became one of the top five heavyweights in MMA. After beating Staring, Cormier discussed how he still wanted a crack at Frank Mir before dropping to light heavyweight to fight champion Jon Jones.

He will, it seems, get his wish.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, longtime Strikeforce (and former WEC) lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will indeed be fighting Benson “Smooth” Henderson in the headline to the event. This was reported yesterday, and is now confirmed.

Melendez has long been ranked among the top lightweights in the world, and his UFC debut is something fans have wanted to see for almost ten years now. He has fought for many promotions over the years, but has never fought in the world's largest promotion. The bout has been rumored for several weeks, since Henderson beat Melendez's teammate, Nate Diaz, at UFC on Fox 5.

This will be the third UFC on Fox event in a row to feature a championship bout in its top spot. UFC on Fox 6 will feature a flyweight title bout in Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson.

The other two bouts on the card are yet to be announced, so keep an eye on Bleacher Report as more details become available.