Friday, November 5, 2010

Will Strikeforce Make Room for Daniel Cormier?

Two-time US Olympic freestyle wrestling team member Daniel Cormier extended his flawless record today with a first round submission over Australian heavyweight Sao Palelei. It was Cormier's second fight with the Australia-based Xtreme MMA promotion, of which he holds the heavyweight title. The American Kickboxing Academy representative made his MMA debut in September 2009, defeating Gary Frazier at Strikeforce Challenger's 3. Now 6-0, Cormier's record balances three fights with Strikeforce and three as a free agent.

Despite three major promotional appearances with Strikeforce, it appears that his most challenging opponents have come by way of free agency. Cormier's August King of the Cage bout against fellow amateur wrestling standout Tony Johnson for the King of the Cage heavyweight title attracted much fanfare. Cormier submitted Johnson with a first round rear naked choke to take home the strap. But where does Cormier's free agent activity place him among his Strikeforce colleagues? At a time when the heavily debated comparison between Strikeforce and UFC heavyweight divisions is a reoccuring subject, a fighter of Daniel Cormier's potential deserves more cage play on big stages -- in his case Strikeforce. But, with big names like Alistair Overeem, Antonio "Big Foot" Silva, and Fabricio Werdum in the way, Daniel Cormier could find himself waiting in line for some time before he is able to secure a noticeable place in the Strikeforce heavyweight division.

My prediction:
Daniel Cormier will defend his KOTC heavyweight title in early 2011. Cormier will then welcome Brett Rogers back to Strikeforce in Spring 2011.

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