"I'm going to let Jon defend his belt April 27th, and I'm going to kick his a** in the fall."
Those were the words uttered by Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion, and AKA Heavyweight, Daniel Cormier mere moments after defeating Dion Staring.
Staring was obviously overmatched by Cormier, who was fighting in front of an Oklahoma City crowd that had seen him turn into an All-American Wrestler at Oklahoma State. It was a performance that defined how a superior fighter should dominate an inferior opponent. Although at times, it looked as if Cormier was toying with Staring.
There were fears that DC might be overlooking his final opponent in Strikeforce and be focused on who his first opponent might be in the UFC, which he hopes will be Frank Mir. But, within the first minute of the bout it was obvious there was no thinking ahead to the future for Cormier. He prepared as if he were fighting for a title and fought the same way.
Don’t be fooled though, once the bout ended and he was given the mic, Cormier let it be known that he is more than ready for a move to the UFC.
Before calling out UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, Cormier had choice words for UFC Heavyweight Frank Mir. Mir and Cormier were slated to fight in November before an injury forced Mir out of the bout.
“April 20th on Fox, I signed my UFC contract, Frank Mir. You and me let’s do it,” Cormier said.
Those are strong words for a heavyweight that wasn’t on many rankings at the start of 2012.
Coming out of obscurity to defeat Antonio Silva, Josh Barnett and arguably become a top-5 heavyweight in a little over a year is quite a feat. Doing it alongside the top heavyweight in the world, his AKA teammate and UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez, just shows how determined Cormier has been.
All the hard work that Cormier had put into climbing the ranks at Strikeforce came to a victorious conclusion as he finishes undefeated in the promotion and leaves as the top heavyweight in the company. With Strikeforce closing their doors, Cormier had long planned to sign with the UFC and the admiration was mutual.
UFC President Dana White has stated that Cormier can have a title shot when his tenure with the UFC begins, but it is evident DC wants Mir before dropping to LHW and taking on Jon Jones or whoever will be the 205-pound champion.
The story of Daniel Cormier has been a great one and, hopefully soon, there’ll be a new chapter entitled “UFC”.
Nitesh Dutt is a Production Assistant at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @NiteshDutt.