Daniel Cormier got into this whole MMA thing a little late in life, making his professional debut at the pretty advanced age, at least for a professional fighter, of 30. That debut took place in 2009 in the Strikeforce Challengers series. After 11 straight victories and earning the title of Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix champion, Cormier made his UFC debut on Saturday night at UFC on Fox 7.
The talk has been that Cormier, the team captain of the 2008 US Olympic wrestling squad, is a champion in the making, at whatever weight division he wants to fight in. The UFC, perhaps looking to test the mettle of Cormier, gave him the same opponent they gave Brock Lesnar when he made his UFC debut—former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
When the Octagon door locked behind the two fighters in San Jose, Cormier showed that he was more than capable of handling himself against the former champion, using his strength and clinch work to get the best of the submission artist.
Cormier held Mir against the fence at will and landed heavy body shots to score points en route to a unanimous decision victory. It may not have been the prettiest win, and it may have caused some grumbling considering eight of the fights before it ended in knockouts, but it was a win against a former champ, which should count for something, no?
Now that Cormier has gotten his first test in the UFC out of the way it will be interesting to see what his next step will be, as he has options at either heavyweight or light heavyweight.