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Frank Mir to fight Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce

Frank Mir reacts after defeating Mirko Cro Cop

Frank Mir reacts after defeating Mirko Cro Cop during their heavyweight bout at UFC 119 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Sept. 25, 2010) Credit: Getty

The news of UFC heavyweight Frank Mir fighting Daniel Cormier in a Strikeforce bout later this year is not as big a deal as you might think.

Gone are those days when Strikeforce signing a former UFC champion is big news. That's what happens when the same company owns both fight leagues.

It doesn't signify a major shift in the way Zuffa, parent company to both promotions, will operate. At least, it shouldn't.

Cormier won the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix and has no quality opponents left there, especially after Zuffa said it would abandon the division there to focus on lighter weight classes. Several of those fighters were brought into the UFC fold.

But Cormier, a former Olympic wrestler, still has one fight left on his Strikeforce contract, which he has to honor.  Mir lost his title fight against Junior Dos Santos and needs to work his way back up the ladder.

"This is the fight that makes the most sense," UFC president Dana White told USA Today.

Right, and it's a one fight switch for Mir because Cormier has no Strikeforce fighter he could oppose in any sort of meaningful or promotable scenario.

So don't expect this to mean Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will fight in the UFC once or twice while he's still under contract with Strikeforce. Same for Nate Marquardt, Luke Rockhold, Jacara Souza and anyone else you can think of for Strikeforce.

This is a one-shot deal that honors both fighting and broadcasting contracts for Zuffa, Showtime and Cormier. For Mir, it's another chance to beat a top opponent.

New York Sports