Former heavyweight champion Frank Mir is set to become the first UFC fighter to temporarily exit the Octagon for a bout with sister promotion Strikeforce.
Mir will face unbeaten wrestler Daniel Cormier in the co-main event of an as-yet-unannounced October Strikeforce card, UFC President Dana White told USA Today on Wednesday.
Mir-Cormier represents the first convergence of the UFC and Strikeforce rosters. UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC, acquired Strikeforce in 2011 and has maintained the organizations as separate entities, despite calls from fans and pundits to bring fighters such as Melendez and Cormier to the Octagon. According to the USA Today report, both Mir and Cormier compete in the UFC after the bout, with Strikeforce having dissolved its heavyweight division.
Mir will look to rebound from a May thumping at the hands of current UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos. The 33-year-old submission specialist had won four of five since dropping his title to Brock Lesnar in July 2009.
Also 33, Cormier has racked up 10 wins and seven finishes in less than three years as a professional mixed martial artist. The two-time U.S. Olympian finished his run through the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix in May with an impressive win over another onetime UFC champ, Josh Barnett.
This item was updated July 26 at 11:09 a.m. PT after Strikeforce announced the bout will take place in October, not September, as originally reported.