Newly crowned Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier isn’t in a rush to get to the UFC, but he sure wouldn’t mind a title shot when he gets there.
The former Olympian, who dominated Josh Barnett en route to a unanimous decision victory to cap off the tournament, is excited about his UFC future, but right now he’s still committed to at least one more fight in Strikeforce.
While most seem upset at the fact that Cormier has to fight once more in the UFC’s sister promotion, he’s at peace with it all. He’s known ever since the new deal was struck between the powers that be at Zuffa and Showtime for Strikeforce to stay alive, Cormier was going to have at least one more fight in the promotion should he win the Grand Prix.
Still, in a perfect world Cormier would love for his next fight to be against reigning UFC champion Junior Dos Santos, it’s just not going to happen so why dwell on it?
“In a perfect world, I would love that fight. I mean who doesn’t want to fight for the most prestigious belt in mixed martial arts? But right now my loyalties are to Scott Coker and the people at Strikeforce and Showtime. They’ve taken care of me for two and a half years, and treated me well,” Cormier told MMAWeekly Radio.
“It was determined before that I would have another fight. My loyalties are there right now because that’s where I fight. If and when I do go over to the UFC, then I’ll address all that other stuff. Whoever I beat after this fight with Josh Barnett and it’s time to come over, you have to look at my resume and look at a heavyweight that has those quality wins in a row and say does this guy deserve to have a shot over him?”
Cormier does believe however that should he win his next fight in Strikeforce that a title shot should be awaiting him. UFC President Dana White agrees and said recently that if Cormier chooses to stick around at heavyweight, he will get a crack at the heavyweight title.
“If he comes over and wants to fight for the heavyweight championship, yes,” White stated.
For now however, Cormier will focus on what is actually next and that’s recovery from surgery. The American Kickboxing Academy fighter broke his hand in the first round of his fight with Barnett, and had surgery on Monday to repair the damage done.
If recovery goes well, Cormier is hopeful to be back in the cage by the fall of 2012.
“I have surgery on Monday and then Tuesday/Wednesday I can actually get back on my cardio and running, and then on the following Monday I can actually start doing everything else. I mean I can grapple, I can wrestle, I just can’t punch,” said Cormier.
“I’ll hopefully be able to stay in some decent shape, not get as big as I was between this fight and the last fight and then I’m looking at about 6 to 8 weeks of actual recovery time before I can start punching. If that’s the case, I’m hoping to fight in 3 ½ to 4 months.”
There has been no word from Strikeforce officials or UFC officials for that matter on who could potentially come in to face Cormier for his last fight before switching promotions later this year or early next year.
If everything falls in line however, Daniel Cormier could be fighting for the UFC heavyweight title before too much more time passes.
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