The news of former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir moving over to Strikeforce for a fight with Daniel Cormier has shocked the MMA community. Coming off a loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146 that knocked him down the heavyweight pecking order, Mir makes the bold move over to Strikeforce that could vault him right back up to the top.
Rumors had been swirling that the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion would be fighting Tim Sylvia on September 29th, but safely they were quickly shot down by the ZUFFA brass. The Cormier vs. Mir bout was original thought to be on the September 29th Strikeforce card in Sacramento, CA but those plans quickly changed and the bout will now take place sometime in October or November.
When ZUFFA had purchased Strikeforce many of the promotions top fighters took the step up to the UFC, Frank Mir is the first and possibly only UFC fighter to make to jump down to Strikeforce. So why would Mir take that step you ask, well most likely because the UFC made it worth wild with a large one fight Strikeforce contract. Never the less Mir is doing something that many current UFC fighters have gone on record as saying they would not do.
Even if there were some incentives for his temporary move to Strikeforce, credit should be given to Mir for doing it in the first place. The UFC veteran is taking on a very tough fighter in Cormier, who would easily be near the top of the UFC heavyweight division. He is taking all the risk in the fight while Cormier is basically playing with the houses money.
Think of it as a high risk, high reward fight for Mir. A loss in Strikeforce would hurt his chances of a quick climb back to the top of the UFC heavyweight division, not to mention be a serious low blow to his pride. A win on the other hand might earn him an immediate title shot or at least a one way ticket right back into title contention.
Despite getting something for his troubles, Frank Mir is checking his ego at the door and possibly opening the door to other fighters making the move to Strikeforce. If Strikeforce were to continue its operations passed this year, the ability and willingness of UFC fighters stepping into the Strikeforce hexagon could be key. If that were to happen history would look back at Frank Mir as the one that started it all, but now we’re getting way ahead of ourselves here.
For now, Frank Mir will be facing Daniel Cormier in what most likely will be the final Strikeforce heavyweight bout.