STRIKEFORCE hits Oklahoma City with their next offering on November 3rd, roughly one month away. The main event in the heavyweight division featured SF champion Daniel Cormier squaring off against Frank Mir, until Mir was pulled due to an injury. Word is starting to surface about fighters turning down the fight, and the popular choice seems to have settled on Pat Barry, who is still on the UFC roster, as the man to cross over and face Cormier.
UFC President Dana White was his usual bitter self as he revealed to the media that TUF alumni Matt Mitrione had turned the fight with Cormier down. You can hardly blame Mitrione. His last outing was a loss roughly a year ago, and he is 5-1 overall. Mitrione would have been somewhere like a 10-1 underdog, as he is just not on the level of Cormier. This is just bad matchmaking.
What may be even worse is the choice of Barry. Barry is 4-5 overall in the UFC, and it is anyone’s guess why he is still even on the roster. Prior to his last outing, a dismal performance against the very mundane Lavar Johnson, Barry openly expressed mental fatigue at the whole UFC process and basically said he didn’t want to be there. I guess you keep guys like this around to pinch hit, like they need with Cormier.
If Barry is the choice, look for Cormier to be installed as a very heavy favorite. Barry throws solid punches and kicks, and he will have the proverbial ‘puncher’s chance’, but Cormier is sure to come in with the correct gameplan, and Barry will be very hard pressed to control where the fight will occur. That is likely to be on the ground, as Cormier’s athleticism, wrestling background and solid coaching at AKA will surely see him dictate the fight.
The UFC is desperate it seems, and at this point they will have to throw in their the first guy that agrees. And of course, SHOWTIME must also agree to the opponent.
The Middleweight title fight between Luke Rockhold and Lorenz Larkin is also on the card, though it is unclear if the network will take that as a main event, or if the event faces yet another cancellation if an opponent for Cormier cannot be found.