If you watched the UFC on FOX 7 event last night, you saw Heavyweight Daniel Cormier win his UFC debut by defeating former champion frank Mir via Unanimou Decision. After a frenetic night that included more than half a dozen TKO type stoppages, the match seemed slow and methodical, but what was clear afterwards, as Mir politely applauded the inevitable decision, was that Cormier is a force to be reckoned with.
Mir took the bout very seriously, changing his routine and training with the Greg Jackson camp in the lead up to the fight. He looked in terrific shape at the weigh ins, in fact the best shape we have seen Mir in for some time.
Mir felt before te fight that he could win a methodical boxing match with Cormier, using his reach advantage to score points. Mir, who has broken arms several times in the UFC, would also be dangerous off his back.
But once the fight started, Cormier was too fast and too strong for Mir, despite the near 40 lb weight difference, Cormier did what he wanted. He was able to control Mir against the fence, and he did damage inside with body blows and kneed. He got off first, and he managed the distance throughout the fight.
Cormier is probably best suited staying at Heavyweight, and not cutting down to Lightheavy despite the allure of a title fight with Jon Jones. In his last two bouts, he has handled two former Champions and not lost a round, including a 5 round fight against Josh Barnett. Cormier may have a Fedor like streak in him athletically that allow him to handle bigger opponents with his explosiveness and speed.
Physically, Cormier may or may not be able to make 205 lbs. Apparently, he competed in the 2004 Olympics and was made a team captain in 2008, however he didn’t compete. The reason he didn’t compete in ’08 is because of kidney failure, probably from cutting weight. With the Olympic cut off in weight class at 211 lbs, the 205 lb mark the UFC has might be out of reach.
Cormier himself was talking about taking a tune up match at 205 lbs to see how he handles the weight cut. He may be better off staying at heavyweight, where matches with mark Hunt, Roy Nelson, Stefan Struve, Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem are all options.