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Daniel Cormier

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Title: Daniel Cormier  
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Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier
Born (1979-03-20) March 20, 1979
Lafayette, Louisiana, United States
Other names DC[1] Black Fedor[2]
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[3]
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)[4]
Division Heavyweight
Light Heavyweight
Reach 72 in (183 cm)[5]
Style Wrestling
Fighting out of San Jose, California, United States
Team American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)
Rank Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[6] under Leandro Vieira[7]
Wrestling Olympic Freestyle Wrestling[1]
NCAA Division I Wrestling[8]
Years active 2009–present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 18
Wins 17
By knockout 6
By submission 5
By decision 6
Losses 1
By decision 1
University Oklahoma State University
Notable school(s) Colby Community College
Northside High School
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Daniel Cormier
Medal record
Competitor for the  United States
Men's freestyle wrestling
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Baku -96 kg
Wrestling World Cup
Silver medal – second place 2005 Tashkent -96 kg
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 2003 Santo Domingo -96 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Rio de Janeiro -96 kg
Pan American Championships
Gold medal – first place 2002 Maracaibo -96 kg
Gold medal – first place 2003 Santo Domingo -96 kg

Daniel Ryan Cormier[9] (born March 20, 1979) is an American mixed martial artist and former Olympic wrestler. He competes in the light heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he is the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. As of October 28, 2015, he is #8 in official UFC pound-for-pound rankings and ranked as the #1 light heavyweight and #6 pound-for-pound fighter in the world by Sherdog.[10][11][12] Cormier was also the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion.

Background and wrestling career

Cormier is the son of Joseph and Audrey Cormier.[13] He has an older brother named Joseph, a sister named Felicia and a younger brother named Ferral.[13] When Cormier was eight, his father was shot and killed on Thanksgiving Day in 1986 by the father of his second wife.[13]

In high school at Northside High, Cormier won 3 Louisiana state championships. After 9th grade Cormier only lost twice, both times by injury default. His final high school record was 101-9, with 89 of his victories coming by a fall. Twice he was voted the most outstanding wrestler of the state tournament. In 1995 Cormier won a bronze medal in the world championships in Greco-Roman Wrestling, in the cadet (15–16 years old) division. Cormier was also an all-state football player in high school at the linebacker position, and had a fast 4.5 time on the 40 yard dash.[14] Cormier was offered a scholarship to play football at LSU, but declined in order to continue to pursue wrestling.

After high school he attended Colby Community College where he was a two-time junior college national champion at 197 pounds, in 1998 and 1999. His record was 61-0, with 33 falls. After Colby, Cormier transferred to Division I wrestling powerhouse Oklahoma State University. In 2000, Cormier went 26-5. He entered the national tournament as the #3 seed at 184 pounds, but fell one match short of becoming an all-American (given to the top 8 finishers in each weight class). In 2001 Cormier went 27-5. He became an all-American by reaching the finals of the 184 pound weight class, where he lost to Cael Sanderson 8-4. His final record was 53-10, with 27 falls. 6 of Cormier's losses were against Cael Sanderson, who, with a 159-0 record, is considered the greatest college wrestler of all time by many.

After graduating from OSU with a degree in sociology, Daniel went on to have a successful career in Freestyle Wrestling. He was the senior U.S. national champion every year from 2003–2008, and represented team USA at the world level for each of those years as well. He competed at 96g kg, or 211.6 lbs. At the 2004 Olympics he took 4th place after losing to Khadzhimurat Gatsalov in the semi-finals.[15] Daniel was also a member of the 2008 Olympic wrestling team for the USA, where he was named team captain, but did not compete due to kidney failure, brought on by excessive weight cutting.[16]

In the non-Olympic years, Cormier reached the top 5 at the Wrestling World Championships on two separate occasions, 2003 and 2007. He won a bronze medal at the 2007 competition. Cormier also won a gold medal at the quadrennial Pan American Games in 2003. Another major accomplishment came in 2005. Cormier became one of a select few Americans to win a gold medal at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix, held in Russia, and considered by many to be the toughest wrestling tournament.

Cormier also competed and represented the Oklahoma Slam team in the now defunct Real Pro Wrestling league and was crowned a champion in the first and only season in 2004, for the 211 lb weight class . While he competed in Real Pro Wrestling, he was also teammates with fellow Strikeforce mixed martial arts competitor Muhammed Lawal, who also was a season 1 champion, in the 184 lb weight class.

World Championships/Olympic Games Matches

Res. Record Opponent Score Date Event Location Notes
Win 10-6 Aleksey Krupnyakov 1-0, 0-1, 1-0 2007-09-19 2007 World Wrestling Championships Baku, Azerbaijan won bronze medal
Win 9-6 Kiyotaka Kodaira 3-0, 6-0 2007-09-19 2007 World Wrestling Championships Baku, Azerbaijan
Loss 8-6 Saeid Ebrahimi 0-5, 1-2 2007-09-19 2007 World Wrestling Championships Baku, Azerbaijan
Win 8-5 Ruslan Sheikhau 0-1, 1-0, 3-0 2007-09-19 2007 World Wrestling Championships Baku, Azerbaijan
Win 7-5 Ian Wardell Tech. Fall 2007-09-19 2007 World Wrestling Championships Baku, Azerbaijan
Loss 6-5 Alireza Heidari 0-2, 1-0, 0-7 2006-09-27 2006 World Wrestling Championships Guangzhou, China
Loss 6-4 Aleksey Krupnyakov 1-2, 1-8 2005-09-26 2005 World Wrestling Championships Budapest, Hungary
Win 6-3 Peter Pecha 4-0, 3-0 2005-09-26 2005 World Wrestling Championships Budapest, Hungary
Loss 5-3 Alireza Heidari 2-3 2004-08-26 2004 Summer Olympics Athens, Greece bronze medal match
Loss 5-2 Khadzhimurat Gatsalov 0-5 2004-08-26 2004 Summer Olympics Athens, Greece
Win 5-1 Bartlomiej Bartnicki 10-1 2004-08-26 2004 Summer Olympics Athens, Greece
Win 4-1 Radovan Valach 9-0 2004-08-26 2004 Summer Olympics Athens, Greece
Loss 3-1 Alireza Heidari 3-6 2003-09-12 2003 World Wrestling Championships New York, United States
Win 3-0 Antoine Jaoude Fall 2003-09-12 2003 World Wrestling Championships New York, United States
Win 2-0 Ricardas Pauliukonis Tech. Fall 2003-09-12 2003 World Wrestling Championships New York, United States
Win 1-0 Hakan Koc 9-3 2003-09-12 2003 World Wrestling Championships New York, United States

Mixed martial arts career

After the 2008 Olympics, Cormier decided to pursue a career in mixed martial arts, in the Heavyweight division. He trained with Cain Velasquez, Jon Fitch, and Josh Koscheck at American Kickboxing Academy.[17] It helped him improve as a striker and submission wrestler.

After making his professional debut, Cormier traveled to Australia and fought for Xtreme MMA. He defeated Lucas Browne to win the XMMA Heavyweight Championship on July 31. Two weeks later he made his first title defense of his career in August 13, against Soa Palelei. He won via submission to punches in the first round, but broke his hand during the fight.

Cormier won his second MMA title by winning the KOTC Heavyweight Championship on November 2009 from Tony Johnson. He landed a solid punch on Johnson in the first round, causing his larger opponent to shoot in, but Cormier quickly gained the advantage with superior wrestling and grappling and won the fight via rear-naked choke.


Cormier signed an eight-fight deal with the Strikeforce organization and debut at Strikeforce Challengers: Kennedy vs. Cummings,[18] defeating Gary Frazier by TKO.

Cormier fought at the event Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs. Mahe on March 26, 2010, in Fresno, California against John Devine, Cormier defeating Devine by KO.

Shortly thereafter, Cormier fought Strikeforce: Houston event on August 21, 2010. Cormier defeating Jason Riley via submission (punches) 1:02 into the fight.

Cormier next fought Devin Cole at the Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine event on January 7, 2011, in Nashville, Tennessee.[19] He won via unanimous decision, the first time a fight of his has gone the distance.

Cormier was to face Shane del Rosario at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum on June 18, 2011, in Dallas, Texas,[20] but his opponent was involved in a car accident and withdrew from the bout. Cormier instead faced Jeff Monson and won via a decision. Cormier used his striking to dominate Monson on the feet and didn't allow for any takedowns, negating Monson's submission ability.

Despite Cormier's reservations about Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix due to inexperience, height and reach disadvantage over the rest of the field, Cormier faced Antônio Silva in only a 5-week notice by his management team on September 10, 2011, at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov, replacing Alistair Overeem.[21][22] In a shocking upset, he won the fight via KO (punches) in the first round, catching Silva with multiple hits to the jaw, causing him to collapse, and then finishing with two hammer blows to the face of the grounded Silva before the ref could stop the fight. Cormier later revealed that he broke his hand during the fight.[23]

He faced fellow finalist Josh Barnett on May 19, 2012, at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier.[24] Cormier dominated the five round fight, becoming the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46). It was discovered that Cormier, once again, broke his right hand during his last bout with Barnett, and underwent hand surgery.

Daniel Cormier was rumored to face former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia in his return to Zuffa and Strikeforce debut, but on July 21, UFC President Dana White said "no Tim Sylvia is not with Zuffa".[25]

Cormier was scheduled to fight former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir on November 3, 2012, at Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir.[26] However on September 19 it was revealed that Mir was forced to pull out of the bout due to an injury.[27]

Cormier fought Dion Staring at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine on January 12, 2013.[28] He won via TKO in the second round.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Cormier made his promotional debut against Frank Mir on April 20, 2013 at UFC on Fox 7.[29] He won the fight via unanimous decision. Due to Cain Velasquez, Cormier's teammate, being the current UFC Heavyweight Champion, Cormier considered moving down to the UFC's light heavyweight division. Some writers expressed doubt in his ability to cut down to the 205 limit safely, citing Cormier suffering kidney failure during his time as an Olympic wrestler, trying to make 211 lbs.[30] After failing to compete at the Olympics, he gained 40 lbs.[31]

In his second UFC fight, Cormier faced Roy Nelson on October 19, 2013 at UFC 166.[32] He won the fight via unanimous decision. Prior to the bout, he announced that win or lose, he would be moving down to the Light Heavyweight division. Cormier weighed in for the bout more than 20 pounds lighter than previous contests, at 224 pounds.

Cormier was expected to face Rashad Evans at UFC 170 on February 22, 2014, in his first fight at light heavyweight.[33] However, a leg injury knocked Evans off the card ten days before the event, and he was replaced by newcomer Patrick Cummins.[34] Cormier won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Cormier was briefly linked to a bout with Rafael Cavalcante on July 5, 2014 at UFC 175.[35] However, it was announced that Cormier would instead be fighting Dan Henderson on May 24, 2014 at UFC 173.[36] After dominating the fight with his wrestling and top game, he won via technical submission in the third round.

Daniel Cormier was chosen as spokesperson for his new Cage Fighter signature wrestling shoe when he competed in an exhibition wrestling match against Chris Pendleton during the UFC Fan Expo.[37]

UFC Light Heavyweight Title Shot

Cormier was expected to face UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones at UFC 178 on September 27, 2014 after Alexander Gustafsson was forced to withdraw due to a torn meniscus.[38] However, on August 12, Jones was forced to pull out of the bout against Cormier citing an injury. The fight eventually took place at UFC 182.[39] At UFC 182 Cormier was defeated by Jon Jones by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46).[40] Despite the loss, Cormier was awarded a Fight of the Night bonus.[41]

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion

Cormier was expected to face Ryan Bader on June 6, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 68.[42] However, on April 28, 2015 it was announced that Jon Jones had been stripped of the Light Heavyweight championship and suspended indefinitely after facing felony charges stemming from a traffic accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Subsequently, Cormier was pulled from the Bader fight and replaced Jones against Anthony Johnson on May 23, 2015 at UFC 187 for the vacant title.[43] In the early opening seconds of the fight, Cormier was dropped by an overhand right by Johnson. Cormier would go on to win the next two rounds and eventually submit Johnson by rear naked choke in the third round to become the new UFC Light Heavyweight champion. The last time the championship changed hands was 2011. The fight also earned Cormier a Performance of the Night bonus.[44][45]

Cormier faced Alexander Gustafsson on October 3, 2015 at UFC 192.[46] Cormier won the back and forth fight via split decision.[47] Their performance earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.[48]

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts

  • Xtreme MMA
    • XMMA Heavyweight Championship (One time)
    • One successful title defense

Amateur wrestling

  • USA Wrestling
    • USA Senior Freestyle Olympic Team Trials Winner (2004, 2008)
    • FILA Senior Freestyle World Team Trials Winner (2005, 2006, 2007)
    • FILA Senior Freestyle World Team Trials Runner-up (2001, 2002)
    • USA Senior Freestyle National Championship (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
    • Northwest Senior Freestyle Regional Championship (2008)
    • John Smith Freestyle Wrestler of the Year Award (2007)
    • ASICS Tiger High School All-American (1996, 1997)

Collegiate wrestling

  • National High School Coaches Association
    • NHSCA Senior High School National Championship 3rd Place (1997)
    • NHSCA Senior All-American (1997)

Mixed martial arts record

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 17–1 Alexander Gustafsson Decision (split) UFC 192 October 3, 2015 5 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 16–1 Anthony Johnson Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 187 May 23, 2015 3 2:39 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Loss 15–1 Jon Jones Decision (unanimous) UFC 182 January 3, 2015 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 15–0 Dan Henderson Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 173 May 24, 2014 3 3:53 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 14–0 Patrick Cummins TKO (punches) UFC 170 February 22, 2014 1 1:19 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Light Heavyweight debut.
Win 13–0 Roy Nelson Decision (unanimous) UFC 166 October 19, 2013 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 12–0 Frank Mir Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Melendez April 20, 2013 3 5:00 San Jose, California, United States
Win 11–0 Dion Staring TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine January 12, 2013 2 4:02 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Win 10–0 Josh Barnett Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier May 19, 2012 5 5:00 San Jose, California, United States Won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Win 9–0 Antônio Silva KO (punches) Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov September 10, 2011 1 3:56 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal.
Win 8–0 Jeff Monson Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum June 18, 2011 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Reserve bout.
Win 7–0 Devin Cole Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine January 7, 2011 3 5:00 Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 6–0 Soa Palelei Submission (punches) XMMA 3 November 5, 2010 1 2:23 Sydney, Australia Defended the XMMA Heavyweight Championship.
Win 5–0 Jason Riley Submission (punches) Strikeforce: Houston August 21, 2010 1 1:02 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 4–0 Tony Johnson Submission (rear-naked choke) KOTC: Imminent Danger August 13, 2010 1 2:27 Mescalero, New Mexico, United States Won the KOTC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 3–0 Lucas Browne TKO (punches) XMMA 2 July 31, 2010 1 4:35 Sydney, Australia Won the XMMA Heavyweight Championship.
Win 2–0 John Devine KO (punch) Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs. Mahe March 26, 2010 1 1:19 Fresno, California, United States
Win 1–0 Gary Frazier TKO (punches) Strikeforce Challengers: Kennedy vs. Cummings September 25, 2009 2 3:39 Bixby, Oklahoma, United States

Film career

Cormier made his film debut in the 2014 comedy Mantervention playing himself.[54][55]

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Daniel Cormier Nickname in Russia, accessed May 25, 2014
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  4. ^ UFC 173 Weigh-In Results, accessed January 1, 2015
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  10. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
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  13. ^ a b c
  14. ^ [1]
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  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ [3]
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External links

  • Official website
  • OFFICIAL website of Olympian Daniel Cormier (2004)
  • Professional MMA record for Daniel Cormier from Sherdog
  • Daniel Cormier profile at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • Olympic profile at
Title last held by
Jon Jones
13th UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
May 23, 2015 – present
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