Light heavyweight fighter Misha Cirkunov recently signed a new multi-fight contract with the UFC.
The current king of the division is Daniel Cormier, who is defending his belt against Anthony Johnson at UFC 210 and Cirkunov has made his pick for the fight.
“The first fight, I picked Daniel Cormier to win. But in a rematch, it’s going to be very, very interesting,” Cirkunov said on The MMA Hour. “Because we all saw what happened in the first fight, so I feel like there’s a lot of blueprints for Anthony Johnson to get better. If he gets better, there’s going to be a lot, a lot tougher for Daniel Cormier to win; whereas, Daniel Cormier is a beast himself, but I think that we’re not going to see a way more improved Daniel Cormier, just based on he’s been injured and he hasn’t competed. I think, if anything, this is the best chance for Anthony Johnson to become a belt-holder, because he’s already seen what he needs to do and he’s seen the gameplan, and hopefully he can stick to the gameplan and it’ll be a good night for Anthony Johnson. But again, Daniel Cormier showed how it could be done, right? So it’s going to be a very interesting fight. If I have to pick a winner, I’m going to go with, probably, still Daniel Cormier just based on wrestling, but it’s going to be a closer fight this time.”
Cirkunov fought four times under his first UFC contract, winning all four of those fights. If he manages to get his fifth win in the UFC over Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Fight Night 109, the light heavyweight contender would like to fight Mauricio Rua next.
“I’m pretty sure he was asked if he wants to fight me and the other fight happened (against Gian Villante), so I don’t know if he wants to fight me,” Cirkunov said. “I’m sure in the future we can work something out. I mean, I hope we’ll work something out in the future, because for me, personally, I would love to fight somebody like that just so that I can wrap my name against a legend, a true pioneer, a true Hall of Famer, Pride champion and UFC champion. A lot of people know who he is and a lot of people would tune in to see him fight, so I would love that all of those people would get to know who Misha Cirkunov is as well. I think I’ve earned it and I’ve been fighting for a long time. We’ll see what happens.”
UFC Fight Night 109 takes place on Saturday, May 28 from the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden with Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.