The UFC’s first, and likely only, co-promotional bout has a date and a location. “Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir” is reportedly being targeted for Saturday November 2 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. MMAFighting first reported the story.
Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier has ties to the “Sooner State” as a former member of the Oklahoma State University wrestling team. The two-time junior college national champion, 2001 NCAA runner up – losing to arguably the greatest US wrestler of all-time, Cael Sanderson – and 2004/2008 Olympian is one of the most decorated wrestlers in MMA today. The diminutive heavyweight has carved out an impressive 10-0 record against strong competition, including defeating Josh Barnett for the Grand Prix title this past May.
Despite UFC president Dana White’s suggestion that Cormier cut to light heavyweight, the 2008 Olympic captain – who was unable to wrestle that year due to kidney failure related to weight cutting – has remained adamant that his sights are set on the UFC heavyweight crown. The former Cowboy wrestling standout has stated that the outcome of UFC 155’s championship bout, between champion Junior Dos Santos and teammate Cain Velasquez, will not deter his UFC title aspirations.
Frank Mir is coming off a devastating loss to UFC heavyweight champion at UFC 145. The multi-time UFC champion ranks among the best heavyweights in MMA history. The BJJ black belt has won two “Submission of the Year” awards and has finished thirteen of his sixteen career victories. If Mir defeats Cormier, he will keep himself in the UFC title picture.
The November event will likely take place at the home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The 18,200 seat venue has been reconfigured to seat around 14,000 for WWE events, and will likely use that configuration for Strikeforce as well. Other bout announcements for “Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir” will likely be made in the coming weeks.