An anticipated heavyweight clash between Frank Mir and Daniel Cormier will serve as the co-main event of UFC on Fox 7, promotion officials announced Tuesday.
Headlined by a lightweight title conflict pitting reigning UFC king Benson Henderson against former Strikeforce pacesetter Gilbert Melendez, the April 20 event takes place at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Mir and Cormier were initially expected to collide in the Strikeforce cage on Nov. 3, but an injury to Mir prevented the men from crossing paths. Following his win over Dion Staring at Strikeforce’s final show on Jan. 12, Cormier called Mir out, suggesting that the men meet at UFC on Fox 7 in a request clearly heard by Zuffa brass.
Cormier’s victory over Staring marked the 11th consecutive win for the undefeated American Kickboxing Academy standout, who captured the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix title last May by outpointing Josh Barnett in a hard-fought, five-round affair. A two-time Olympic wrestler, Cormier, 33, has used a potent combination of elite grappling and sharp striking to stop eight of his foes by knockout or submission.
Known for his superior submission skills, Mir challenged then-UFC champion Junior dos Santos last May, replacing a suspended Alistair Overeem in the main event of UFC 146. “Cigano” snapped Mir’s three-fight winning streak, knocking out the former champion in the second round. Prior to that setback, Mir had earned wins over Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in 2011, breaking “Minotauro’s” arm with a kimura to close out the year at UFC 140.