Daniel Cormier Stats:
From: Lafayette, Louisiana USA
Fights Out Of: San Jose, California USA
Height: 5′ 11″ ( 180 cm )
Weight: 205 lb ( 93 kg )
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Daniel Cormier Biography
A former U.S Olympic wrestling team captain who now holds the UFC’s light-heavyweight title, 36-year-old Daniel Cormier is a man who commands respect in the sport.
Athletically gifted in his youth, Cormier was offered a football scholarship at LSU, but his passion lay with wrestling which led him to Oklahoma State University where he would become an ‘All American’ NCAA division 1 runner-up before graduating in 2002 with a degree in Sociology.
Tragedy then struck in 2003 when his 3-month-old daughter died in a car crash, the second devastating loss of his life after his father was shot and killed when he was just 8 years old.
Despite the heartbreak, Cormier would go on to place fourth in freestyle wrestling at the 2004 Olympic Games, then captain the 2008 Olympic wrestling team, though he was unable to compete due to kidney failure resulting from weight cutting issues.
Cormier now turned his talents to MMA and signed for Strikeforce in 2009, He made his debut as a heavyweight in their challengers series that September, and despite appearing undersized for the division he earned a TKO victory.
In 2010 Cormier fought wherever he could and racked up five victories, winning the KOTC and XMMA heavyweight titles along the way, easily defeating his biggest-name opponent to date, Sao Palelei along the way.
In 2011, Cormier was selected as an extra for Strikeforce’s high-profile heavyweight Grand-Prix which was set to play out over the course of the year. Cormier won his alternate bout, defeating veteran Jeff Monson to ensure he was the first name on the list if anyone pulled out injured.
As luck would have it, Alistair Overeem withdrew from his semi-final bout with Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva and Cormier seized the biggest moment of his career so far by KO’ing the Brazilian in under four minutes. In the final he would then face Josh Barnett, and he once again rose to the occasion by dominating the action over five rounds to win the tournament.
Strikeforce merged with the UFC in early 2013 and Cormier remained at heavyweight, adding two more high-profile wins against Frank Mir and Roy Nelson to establish himself a top contender for the sport’s leading promotion.
However, Cormier’s training partner Cain Velasquez was the champion at the time, so in 2014, he made the decision to drop to 205lbs and mount a title assault there instead. Despite issues in the past Cormier had no difficulties getting down to 205lbs where he promptly TKO’d late replacement Patrick Cummins in just 79 seconds.
Next up was a legend, Dan Henderson where a third round rear-naked choke victory extended his record to a perfect 15-0 and put him firmly into title contention.
Later that year Cormier would secure a permanent spot as an analyst for FOX Sports 1, but he was still focused on a title shot, and as fate would have it, an injury to No.1 contender Alexander Gustafsson gave ‘DC’ the chance to fight the division’s dominant force, Jon Jones.
A now infamous brawl between the two during a Las Vegas press conference staredown sent interest in the fight through the roof. The bout was eventually set for UFC 182 in January of 2015 where 800,000 fans on pay-per-view watched Cormier taste defeat for the first time by unanimous decision.
Just a few months later Jones was stripped of the belt due to a hit-and-run incident and so Cormier found himself fighting for the vacant title against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187, and this time he would not be denied, submitting ‘Rumble’ in the third round to become champion.
Cormier’s first title defense came against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192 and it proved to be a ‘Fight Of The Year’ candidate with ‘DC’ being dropped in the second round, but rebounding to outwork the Swede and earn a split decision victory.
Cormier is set to attempt to avenge the only loss of his MMA career against Jon Jones by headlining the UFC’s biggest event to date, UFC 200, in July 2016 after the Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz rematch was pulled from the card.