Strikeforce produced a number of elite mixed martial arts stars in its six-plus-year run that ended Saturday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Few of those talented fighters, though, have the potential to accomplish as much as heavyweight Daniel Cormier.

Cormier, who manhandled 20-1 underdog Dion Staring and stopped him at 4:09 of the second round, is one of the world's four best heavyweights. At worst, he trails only his buddy and training partner, UFC champion Cain Velasquez, as well as Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos.

But based upon how he looked against the vastly outclassed Staring, he might have gone a bit too far Saturday when he called out UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

The affable Cormier set his sights squarely on Jones, the most physically gifted man in the sport, immediately after dismantling Staring.

"I'm going to let Jon defend his belt on April 27 and I'm going to kick his ass in the fall," Cormier said in the cage not long after the fight ended.

As good as Cormier is, and he's plenty good, that's a major undertaking. Jones has rarely even been in trouble in his UFC career. He's also destroyed the elite light heavyweights in the world and, since becoming a title contender, hasn't allowed a 20-1 underdog to last nine minutes. He's one of the most brutal finishers in the history of the sport.

[Also: Saffiedine, Mousasi, Souza shine in Strikeforce finale]

Cormier could – could – beat Jones, given his wrestling pedigree and his improving striking. But he'd also need to raise his game many notches from where it was Saturday, when it appeared he had a difficult time generating much intensity for a guy who was not much of a threat.

Love him or hate him, Jones never cruises through a bout the way Cormier seemed willing to do Saturday. He was never in danger, and he thoroughly dominated the bout, absorbing just one power shot from Staring. That, though, is what is expected of an elite fighter who's taking on a 20-1 underdog.

Cormier didn't fight with the kind of fire and passion that Jones always does, or that Velasquez showed for all 25 minutes in winning the heavyweight title from dos Santos last month in Las Vegas.

A motivated Cormier who fights with that Velasquez-type intensity has the ability to defeat Jones. Anything less, though, won't get it done.

Cormier, who signed his UFC contract last month, said he wants to fight ex-UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir on April 20 on Fox. A Mir fight would be a good match for him and a great way to introduce him to the company's fan base.

But if Cormier is going to get a title shot against Jones, he should prove he's able to make 205.

If the plan is for him to fight at light heavyweight, where he won't have to fight his friend Velasquez for the heavyweight crown, the UFC should put him in against an elite 205-pounder in April. If Glover Teixeira gets past Quinton "Rampage" Jackson later this month in Chicago, he'd be the perfect type of opponent to welcome Cormier to the UFC.

The UFC is going to get another star when it welcomes Cormier to its ranks. But now that he's hit the big-time, Cormier needs to always fight with that kind of intensity, or he won't be a star for long.

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Blazers' J.J. Hickson makes ridiculously bad pass
Mike Stoops 'compliments' Johnny Football
Nike unveils Leo Messi's new Ballon d'Or boots
Hot-tempered Milton Bradley in big trouble now

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

Daniel Cormier criticizes Anthony Johnson for fake brawl with UFC champ Jon Jones

  • 26 days ago
  • 294 views

Daniel Cormier has mixed thoughts – not all of them good – about the fake brawl staged by UFC champion Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson at this past Saturday’s “UFC: Welcome to the Show” press conferenc read news >>

Video: Watch UFC champ Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson give Dana White a heart attack

  • 28 days ago
  • 343 views

LOS ANGELES – For a minute there, UFC President Dana White clearly had a look on his face that suggested the fight promotion had another PR disaster on its hands.Filed under: Featured, Featured Video read news >>

GIF: UFC champ Jon Jones, opponent Anthony Johnson troll Dana White with hilarious fake brawl

  • 28 days ago
  • 64 views

Dana's face is priceless! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brass put together a special "Welcome to the Show" press conference this afternoon (Sat., Feb. 28, 2015), highlighting several of the up read news >>

Jon Jones, Anthony Johnson scare Dana White with fake brawl prank

  • 28 days ago
  • 163 views

LOS ANGELES -- UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson scared Dana White by pulling off a fake brawl at the "Welcome to the Show" event Saturday afternoon. read news >>

UFC's 'Welcome to the Show' launch event staredown gallery feat. Jon Jones, Urijah Faber, Lyoto Machida, and more

  • 28 days ago
  • 12 views

"Welcome to the Show" photos gallery if staredowns between 20 of UFC's top fighters from today's (Sat., Feb. 28, 2015) special press conference in Los Angeles, California, featuring Jon Jones, Anthon read news >>

Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson Punk Dana White with Fake Brawl | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 32 views

UFC President Dana White damn near had a heart attack when Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson put their hands on each other during a heated stare down today during a fan event in Los Angeles. read news >>

Jon Jones, Anthony Johnson Prank Dana White by Reenacting Jones-Cormier Brawl

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

The UFC held a press event hours before Saturday's UFC 184 entitled “Welcome to the Show.” It was similar to its “The Time Is Now” event held earlier this year, but this one focused on the next wave read news >>

UFC 184 live analysis (Yahoo Sports)

  • 28 days ago
  • 19 views

From Yahoo Sports: Follow along live as UFC women's bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey defends her title against fellow undefeated fighter Cat Zingano. read news >>

UFC 184 live analysis (Yahoo Sports)

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

From Yahoo Sports: Follow along live as UFC women's bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey defends her title against fellow undefeated fighter Cat Zingano. read news >>