Daniel Cormier (born March 20, 1979) is an American mixed martial artist and a former Olympic wrestler. He is signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, currently competing in the heavyweight division. Cormier was the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion until the company merged with UFC. As of December 2012, Cormier is currently ranked the #5 heavyweight in the world by Sherdog. Daniel Cormier's Official Website can be found at www.DanielCormier.tv

 

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

 

He was a three-time Louisiana wrestling state champion in high school and high school All-American. In high school, Northside High School, he suffered only two losses after his freshman year, both coming in injury defaults. He had a 1019 record during his high school career and was also an All-State performer in football. After high school he attended Colby Community College where he was a two-time junior college national champion. After Colby he transferred to wrestling powerhouse Oklahoma State University where he was an NCAA runner-up, losing to Cael Sanderson in the finals.

 

Since graduating from college Daniel was on 5 United States world wrestling teams and the 2004 Olympic wrestling team, ending in 4th place, after losing to Khadjimourat Gatsalov in the semi-finals. 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. Daniel 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 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. At Oklahoma State University he earned a degree in Sociology

 

 

He decided to pursue a career in mixed martial arts, in the Heavyweight division. He has trained with Cain Velasquez, Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck at American Kickboxing Academy.

 

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

 

In his second MMA fight Cormier defeated John Devine via first round KO. Cormier was the wrestling coach on The Ultimate Fighter 12 alongside Josh Koscheck with whom he wrestled at the NCAA Finals.

 

After a shortage of fights for Strikeforce, Cormier traveled to Australia and fought for Xtreme MMA. He defeated Lucas Browne to win the XMMA Heavyweight Championship on July 31.

 

Just two weeks later he won his second MMA title by winning the KOTC Heavyweight Championship on August 13 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.

 

Just 8 days later he forced Jason Riley to tap out due to strikes at Strikeforce: Houston.

 

He most recently defended the XMMA Championship in November 2010 against Soa Palelei. He won via submission to punches yet again in the first round, but broke his hand during the fight.

 

Cormier next fought Devin Cole at the Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine event on January 7, 2011, in Nashville, Tennessee. 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, 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.

 

 

Cormier faced Antonio Silva on September 10, 2011 at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov, replacing Alistair Overeem. 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.

 

He faced fellow finalist Josh Barnett on May 19, 2012 at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier. 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 will undergo 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".

 

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

 

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

 

Cormier is undoubtedly one of the best wrestlers in the MMA heavyweight division, if not the best. However, he is also highly athletic, and has used this athleticism to develop into a smart and adept striker. As of late, he's been willing to mix it up on his feet against foes like Jeff Monson.

 

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