The search to find an opponent for unbeaten heavyweight standout Daniel Cormier (10-0) is proving to be more difficult as the days pass for Zuffa.
Cormier was originally scheduled to lock horns with former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir on November 3 under the Strikeforce banner, however, Mir was forced to withdraw from the bout due to an injury. With one month until the bout, Zuffa officials are now left scrambling to find a foe for the unbeaten heavyweight.
Following Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 5 event, UFC President Dana White confirmed to MMAJunkie.com that UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione (5-1) recently declined an inter-promotional bout with Cormier.
"It f---ing makes me sick," White told MMAjunkie.com on Saturday. "Listen, you don't want big opportunities, I hear you. I get it, then. All I can say is, I guess he doesn't want big opportunities. I get it. Duly noted.
"F---in' insane," White said. "It makes no sense to me, and it's insane.
I'm a little bummed out by it. We'll figure it out. Yeah, (he's already
got a fight booked). He said, 'I'll just take that one.'"
Mitrione is scheduled to take on Phil De Fries at UFC 155 this December, looking to bounce back from his first career defeat after coming up short to Cheick Kongo last October.
Cormier, meanwhile, remains unbeaten as a professional, including a perfect 7-0 run as a member of the Strikeforce roster. After entering the promotion's World Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament as an alternate last year, the former two-time Olympic wrestler went on to defeat Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Josh Barnett to win the eight-fighter tourney.
UFC heavyweights Pat Barry and Roy Nelson both campaigned for a fight with Cormier via their respective Twitter accounts late Saturday, however, promotion officials have yet to announce a replacement.
(Pictured: Matt Mitrione)
About the Author
Written by Matt Manzella
Matt Manzella is the founder and managing editor of CageReligion.com, as well as ProGuitarNews.com. He also serves as a professional play-by-play commentator and MMA judge in the state of Michigan.
Matt Manzella is the managing editor for CageReligion.com and host of Cage Religion Radio. Matt has been working in the television broadcasting industry for over seven years and is also a play-by-play commentator and judge for the Impact Fight League and Warrior Xtreme Cagefighting.
Phil Lanni is the co-host of Cage Religion Radio. Phil wrestled three years in the NCWA at Grand Valley State University -- a team that won nationals all three years. As an individual, Phil is a three-time national qualifier and was ranked seventh in the nation at 184-pounds to earn All-American status. Phil also serves as a color commentator and judge for the Impact Fight League.