Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
But while the heavyweight grand prix tourney champion isn't looking past his upcoming fight, he's still got an eye on bigger prizes. On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Cormier said he would welcome fights with either UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones or former heavyweight champ Frank Mir.
On a bout with Jones, Cormier said. "If I was ever offered that fight, there would be no hesitation on signing the contract. I'd do it."
"I think it's a good matchup and I really do think he's the best," Cormier said." I think he's the best. ... As I prepare for my fight with Dion, I'm preparing for Junior dos Santos, I'm preparing for Jon Jones, I'm always preparing for the best guy."
Mir, of course, was a fight Cormier was already supposed to have. The two were scheduled to fight in November before a knee injury caused Mir to pull out, which set in motion a chain of events which caused the event's cancelation. Mir has recently indicated that he still would like to fight Cormier. Monday, the former Olympic wrestler returned the favor.
"That's the that fight I want," Cormier said. "Listen, Frank Mir and I have some unfinished business. I had put in a full camp training camp for Frank, and to not get to fight him at the end of it was disappointing. So hopefully I get through this fight with Dion, hopefully the hand holds up this time and I don't break it or anything, and then I can win the fight and move on to Frank. I would like to fight Dion in January, then hopefully I know the montreal card is filling up pretty nicely, but I'd like Frank and I to be on the one after that."
Of course, Cormier still has a fight in front of him before he steps into another fight with a current or former UFC champion. He's saying all the right things leading up to his bout with Staring, a 34-year-old from Holland who has won nine of his past 10 fights.
"He's very tough," said Cormier. "He's a guy that's fought anyone, he fights anyone they put in front of him, he's a guy that brings the fight every time. Just because he's not a guy who's very well known doesn't mean he's a good fighter, and I think he's a very good fighter."
Cormier knows that fans in responded to news that he'd fight Staring on Jan. 12 in Oklahoma City with a collective "who?" Especially after several big UFC names were thrown around. Still, Cormier has a job to do.
"There aren't many guys you're going to get whose name value is as high as Frank Mir," Cormier said. "Matt Mitrione, who main evented a UFC card over the weekend, then you come to find that Cheick Kongo was also offered the fight, so, some pretty decent names were being thrown around. So when you get someone who hasn't fight in the United States before for Strikeforce ofr the UFC, its obviously going to be a drop-off in name value, but it's all relative to what I'm trying to do here. It's another step in my journey."
Cormier can't get through an interview without being asked about his campmate, Cain Velasquez, who will fight dos Santos for the UFC heavyweight title on Dec. 29. What happens if Velasquez wins the title, and Cormier heads over to the UFC as a top contender?
"My first UFC fight is going to be against Frank Mir regardless of what happens," Cormier said. "There's a lot of decisions to make. I think the UFC has made it pretty clear that Alistair Overeem is the guy they want to fight next for the belt, he was pretty close to getting a title shot before the suspension. There's some work to be done for Cain and myself before that actually becomes our reality. I could lose to Dion Staring, I could lose to Frank Mir afterwards, I could be 3-4 fights away from a championship, or I could win both of those fights and then we really have a conversation to have."
All in all, Cormier acknowledged, that while calling out the likes of Jones and Mir isn't how he's usually conducted himself as an athlete, it might be the only way to get noticed in mixed martial arts these days.
"I've never really been the one who calls guys out and tries to set my next fight and this fight or whoever," Cormier said. "But, so when they said this is the guy you're fighting, it's not my job to make fights, I tried that and people kinda jumped down my throat for trying to fight Jon Jones. That's really not me. But obviously that's kind of the way it needs to be now."
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