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Daniel Cormier is not just a top heavyweight, he is an elite athlete. And on Saturday night against Frank Mir, that was enough to earn the former Strikeforce champion a win in his UFC debut.
It won't always be so easy.
Cormier made few fans in his winning effort, as he was content to grind away at Mir for the scheduled 15 minutes of "action," pressing the former UFC heavyweight champion into the cage for the majority of the contest.
Unsurprisingly, he walked away with the unanimous decision, but his future remains unclear.
What is clear? Cormier's athleticism alone will be enough for him to defeat the vast majority of competition in the UFC.
Although Mir is an aging veteran, he remains a dangerous heavyweight who is just two losses removed from a technical submission win over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He's not elite anymore, but Mir is not a heavyweight to sleep on either.
Against above-average fighters, Cormier needs only his athleticism. He is so physically gifted that he can get by without much striking or grappling. He can just manhandle his competition up against the cage.
However, against the upper-echelon heavyweights such as Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos or against the top light heavyweights such as Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida, Cormier will require more than freak athleticism to prevail.
He was admittedly nervous heading into his UFC debut, so moving forward, Cormier will likely display his other tools alongside his athletic abilities, much like he did during his run through the Strikeforce heavyweight ranks.