Daniel Cormier asked for it, and he got it.
Cormier, the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champion, will make his long-awaited UFC debut against former champion Frank Mir on April 20, 2013, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA, for the co-main event of UFC on FOX 7.
In addition, a previously targeted title unification bout between Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson has been confirmed to headline the network card. Yahoo! Sports first reported the news, which MMAFighting.com has since confirmed with sources close to the situation.
A former Olympian, Cormier (11-0) ultimately transformed into one of Strikeforce's biggest stars, rising through the Challengers series before stunning the field in the heavyweight grand prix as a late replacement for Alistair Overeem. The 33-year-old was scheduled to meet Mir in a cross-promotional bout late last year, however an injury to Mir eventually led Cormier to defeat unheralded Dion Staring via second-round TKO in his final fight for the promotion.
"I'm very happy to be fighting again in San Jose and for my UFC debut to be on FOX," Cormier told MMAFighting.com. "I respect Frank a ton, but my plan is to go out and win. And win in a dominant fashion.
"I am happy the UFC is making Frank live up to his obligation. We have unfinished business. This is a dream come true."
Mir (16-6), meanwhile, fights for the first time since losing to then-UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos in resounding fashion at UFC 146. Prior to the setback, the 33-year-old Mir earned three-straight victories over Mirko Filipovic, Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
With 13 consecutive wins and seven straight title defenses between them, both Henderson (18-2) and Melendez (21-2) now meet to unify their long-held titles. For Henderson, the bout marks a second straight title defense on network television, as the 29-year-old previously dismantled Melendez training partner Nate Diaz over five rounds at UFC on FOX 5.
Melendez, fresh of a electrifying and close-fought rubber match against Josh Thomson back in May, now looks to avenge his Cesar Gracie teammate.
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