Daniel Ryan Cormier (//; born March 20, 1979) is an American retired professional mixed martial artist and amateur wrestler. He is a former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion. Cormier is the second fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously and is the first to defend titles in two divisions. As an international wrestler, Cormier was a six-time US World or Olympic Team Member, a World bronze medalist, a World Cup runner-up, a Pan American Games gold medalist (bronze in 2007) and a two-time Pan American champion. In folkstyle wrestling, he was an NCAA Division I National and two time Big 12 Conference runner-up for the Oklahoma State Cowboys (all losses to the eventual four-time NCAA champion Cael Sanderson from Iowa State) and a two-time NJCAA champion.
|Born||Daniel Ryan Cormier|
March 20, 1979
Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||236 lb (107 kg; 16 st 12 lb)|
Light Heavyweight (2014–2018)
|Reach||72+1⁄2 in (184 cm)|
|Fighting out of||San Jose, California, U.S.|
|Team||American Kickboxing Academy|
|Rank||Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Léo Vieira|
|Wrestling||Olympic Freestyle Wrestling|
NCAA Division I Wrestling
|Years active||2009–2020 (MMA)|
2002–2008 (freestyle wrestling)
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||Colby Community College|
Oklahoma State University
|Notable school(s)||Northside High School|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Prior to competing in the UFC, Cormier was the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion and King of the Cage Heavyweight Champion. He holds the distinction of having won a world championship belt in every promotion for which he has fought. Cormier is an analyst and commentator for the UFC.
Background and wrestling careerEdit
Cormier was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. Cormier is the son of Joseph and Audrey Cormier. He has an older brother named Joseph, a sister named Felicia, and a younger brother named Ferral. When Cormier was seven, his father was shot and killed on Thanksgiving Day in 1986 by the father of his second wife.
In high school at Northside High, Cormier won 3 Louisiana state championships in wrestling. 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. He was twice voted the most outstanding wrestler of the state tournament. In 1995, Cormier won a bronze medal in the world championships in Greco-Roman Wrestling cadet (15–16 years old) division. He was also an all-state football player at high school in the linebacker position and had a personal best time of 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash. 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 in Kansas, 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 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, in which he lost to Cael Sanderson 8–4. His final record was 53–10, with 27 falls. 6 of Cormier's losses were to Cael Sanderson.
After graduating from OSU with a degree in sociology, Cormier 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. He competed at 96 kg, or 211.6 lbs. At the 2004 Olympics, he came 4th after losing to Khadzhimurat Gatsalov in the semifinals. Cormier was also a member of the 2008 Olympic wrestling team for the USA, where he was named team captain but was pulled from competition due to kidney failure, brought on by excessive weight cutting.
In the non-Olympic years, Cormier reached the top 5 at the Wrestling World Championships in 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, when Cormier became one of a select few Americans to win a gold medal at the Golden Grand-Prix Ivan Yarygin, held in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, and considered by many to be the most challenging wrestling tournament in the world.
Cormier also competed and represented the Oklahoma Slam team in the now-defunct Real Pro Wrestling league. He was crowned a champion in its first and only season in 2004, for the 211 lb weight class. While he competed in Real Pro Wrestling, he was teammates with fellow Strikeforce mixed martial arts competitor Muhammed Lawal, who also was a season 1 champion, in the 184 lb weight class.
Cormier is the head wrestling coach at Gilroy High School, having been appointed in the summer of 2018. In April 21, 2021, Cormier was inducted into the LHSAA Hall of Fame due to his sporting accomplishments.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
After the 2008 Olympics, Cormier decided to pursue a career in mixed martial arts. He trained with Cain Velasquez, Jon Fitch, and Josh Koscheck at American Kickboxing Academy. It helped him improve as a striker and submission wrestler.
After making his professional debut in September 2009, Cormier traveled to Australia and fought for Xtreme MMA. He defeated Lucas Browne to win the XMMA Heavyweight Championship on July 31, 2010. Two weeks later, Cormier won his second MMA title by winning the KOTC Heavyweight Championship from Tony Johnson.
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 had gone the distance.
Cormier was scheduled 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 decision. Cormier used his striking to dominate Monson on the feet and did not allow for any takedowns, negating Monson's submission ability.
Despite Cormier's reservations about competing in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix due to inexperience, height and reach disadvantage over the rest of the field, he nonetheless entered, and faced Antônio Silva on only five weeks' notice 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 referee could stop the fight. Cormier later revealed that he had broken his hand during the fight.
He faced fellow finalist Josh Barnett on May 19, 2012, at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier. Cormier won the five-round fight by unanimous decision (49–46, 50–45, and 50–45) and became the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion. It was discovered that Cormier, once again, had broken his right hand during his bout with Barnett, and he underwent hand surgery.
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 had been forced to pull out of the bout due to an injury.
Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit
Cormier made his promotional debut against Frank Mir on April 20, 2013, at UFC on Fox 7. He won the fight via unanimous decision. Due to Cain Velasquez, Cormier's teammate, being the 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 the fact that Cormier had suffered kidney failure during his time as an Olympic wrestler when trying to make 211 lbs. After failing to compete at the Olympics, he gained 40 lbs.
In his second UFC fight, Cormier faced Roy Nelson on October 19, 2013, at UFC 166. 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. However, a leg injury knocked Evans off the card ten days before the event, and he was replaced by newcomer Patrick Cummins. 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. However, it was announced that Cormier would instead be fighting Dan Henderson on May 24, 2014, at UFC 173. After dominating the fight with his wrestling and top game, Cormier choked Henderson to sleep to win via technical submission in the third round.
Cormier vs. JonesEdit
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. However, on August 12, Jones, citing an injury, was forced to pull out of the bout. The fight eventually took place at UFC 182. At UFC 182 Cormier was defeated by Jon Jones via unanimous decision. Both fighters were awarded a Fight of the Night bonus.
Light heavyweight championEdit
Cormier was expected to face Ryan Bader on June 6, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 68. 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. In the opening seconds of the fight, Cormier was dropped by an overhand right by Johnson. Cormier won the next two rounds and submitted Johnson by rear-naked choke in the third round to become the new UFC light heavyweight champion. The last time the championship had changed hands was in 2011. The fight earned Cormier a Performance of the Night bonus.
Cormier faced Alexander Gustafsson on October 3, 2015, at UFC 192. Cormier won the back-and-forth fight via split decision (47–48, 48–47, and 49–46). Their performance earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.
In November 2015, Cormier stated that he had signed a new, eight-fight contract with the UFC.
A rematch with Jon Jones was expected to take place on April 23, 2016, at UFC 197. However, Cormier pulled out of the fight on April 1 citing a foot injury and was replaced by Ovince Saint Preux. The rematch with Jones was rescheduled for July 9, 2016, at UFC 200. On July 6, it was announced that the fight between Jones and Cormier was off due to a potential doping violation from Jon Jones. Cormier fought former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in a 3-round non-title fight at the event. Cormier won the fight via unanimous decision.
A rematch with Anthony Johnson was expected to take place on December 10, 2016, at UFC 206. However, on November 25, 2016, Cormier withdrew from the bout due to injury. The pairing was rescheduled again for April 8, 2017, at UFC 210. At the weigh-in for the fight, Cormier was 1.2 pounds over the 205 pound limit for a light heavyweight championship fight: he was allowed a second weigh-in and came in at the 205 limit. During the fight, Anthony Johnson surprisingly adopted a grappling-based approach, and Cormier was able to retain his title with a submission victory in the second round.
Jon Jones rematch and controversyEdit
The rematch with Jon Jones took place on July 29, 2017, at UFC 214 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Jones defeated Cormier, recapturing the light heavyweight championship via knockout in the third round, after a head kick and a barrage of strikes on the ground.
In the post-fight interview, a tearful and emotional Cormier showed disappointment of the defeat and said "I guess if he wins both fights there is no rivalry." Commentator Joe Rogan issued an apology on Twitter to Cormier after the fight for interviewing him when Cormier could not gather his thoughts due to the knock out he suffered in the fight.
On August 22, it was announced that Jones had been flagged for a potential doping violation by USADA stemming from his test sample that was collected after weigh-ins on July 28. He tested positive for Oral Turinabol, an anabolic steroid. Jones was placed on a provisional suspension as a result of the positive drug test. On September 13, USADA confirmed that the "B" sample of Jones' tested positive for Turinabol. As a result, the CSAC officially changed the bout result to a no-contest and the light heavyweight championship was returned to Cormier. On September 18, Cormier, in an interview with TMZ, said he was open to a third fight with Jon Jones after Jones's suspension was served.
Resumed title reignEdit
Cormier faced Volkan Oezdemir on January 20, 2018, at UFC 220. He defeated Oezdemir in the 2nd round after dominating Oezdemir throughout the match. This win earned him the Performance of the Night bonus.
Heavyweight champion and retirementEdit
Cormier faced Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight championship on July 7, 2018, at UFC 226. He won the fight via knockout in the first round, becoming the second fighter to hold two titles simultaneously in the UFC. As of August 17, 2019, Cormier is one of four fighters to have held two UFC championships simultaneously. This fight earned him the Performance of the Night award. Provoked by Cormier after his victory, Brock Lesnar emerged from the audience and came into the octagon to accept the challenge by the new champion.
On October 9, the UFC announced that Cormier would be making the first defense of his heavyweight championship against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230; he defeated Lewis via rear-naked choke in the second round, becoming the first man to submit Lewis in MMA. This made Cormier the first UFC fighter to win and defend both the Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight belts, and the first UFC fighter successfully to defend both belts. Cormier relinquished the light heavyweight title a day before UFC 232, with his focus solely on defending the heavyweight title, stating: "I'd rather walk away this way, than have the history books say I was stripped".
Since the potential matchup with Brock Lesnar never materialised, with Lesnar instead opting to re-sign with the WWE, Cormier decided to fight Miocic again. The rematch took place on August 17, 2019, at UFC 241, just over a year since their first fight. Despite his early success, Cormier lost the fight by TKO in the fourth round, ending his reign as heavyweight champion.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
Mixed martial artsEdit
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- UFC Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- One successful title defense
- UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- Three successful title defenses
- Fight of the Night (Two times) vs. Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson
- Performance of the Night (Three times) vs. Anthony Johnson, Volkan Oezdemir and Stipe Miocic
- First fighter successfully to defend titles in two weight classes
- Fifth multi-divisional champion in UFC history
- Second simultaneous multi-divisional champion
- UFC Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- King of the Cage
- KOTC Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- Xtreme MMA
- XMMA Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- One successful title defense
- XMMA Heavyweight Championship (One time)
- Upset of the Month (2011) vs. Antônio Silva on September 10
- Fighter of the Year (2018)
- 2018 Male Fighter of the Year
- MMA Fighting
- 2018 Fighter of the Year
- 2018 Male Fighter of the Year.
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- World MMA Awards
- ESPY Award
- United World Wrestling (FILA)
- 2007 Wrestling World Championships Bronze Medalist
- 2007 Pan American Games Bronze Medalist
- 2007 Dave Schultz Memorial International Open Gold Medalist
- 2005 Super Cup Silver Medalist
- 2005 Wrestling World Cup Silver Medalist
- 2005 Ivan Yarygin Memorial Tournament Senior Gold Medalist
- 2004 Boutiatyr Grand Prix Gold Medalist
- 2003 FILA Absolute Championship Bronze Medalist
- 2003 Ivan Yarygin Cup Bronze Medalist
- 2003 Pan American Games Gold Medalist
- 2002 Medved International Championships Gold Medalist
- 2002 Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open Gold Medalist
- 2002 Pan American Championships Gold Medalist
- 2002 Dave Schultz Memorial International Open Bronze Medalist
- 2001 Sunkist Kids International Open Gold Medalist
- 2001 Dave Schultz Memorial International Open Gold Medalist
- USA Wrestling
- USA Senior National Championship (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
- US Senior World Team Trials Winner (2005, 2006, 2007)
- Northwest Senior Regional Championship (2008)
- John Smith Freestyle Wrestler of the Year Award (2007)
- George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- George Tragos Award (2019)
- United World Wrestling (FILA)
- 1995 Cadet World Championships Bronze Medalist
- National Collegiate Athletic Association
- Big 12 Conference
- National Junior College Athletic Association
- National High School Coaches Association
- NHSCA Senior All-American (1997)
- Louisiana High School Athletic Association
On February 16, 2011, he and his then-fiancée Salina Deleon had a son, Daniel Jr. Daniel Jr. trains in amateur wrestling at AKA, where Cormier is the assistant coach. On March 4, 2012, Cormier and his fiancée had a daughter. In June 2017, Cormier and Deleon were married.
In January 2018, he was featured on an episode of Sneaker Shopping on the YouTube channel Complex.
In February 2019 he featured in "Sub-Zero's Head Shatter", the first episode of the YouTube series "The Science of Mortal Kombat" by Because Science.
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|26 matches||22 wins||3 losses|
|Loss||22–3 (1)||Stipe Miocic||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 252||August 15, 2020||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Loss||22–2 (1)||Stipe Miocic||TKO (punches)||UFC 241||August 17, 2019||4||4:09||Anaheim, California, United States||Lost the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||22–1 (1)||Derrick Lewis||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC 230||November 3, 2018||2||2:14||New York City, New York, United States||Defended the UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||21–1 (1)||Stipe Miocic||KO (punches)||UFC 226||July 7, 2018||1||4:33||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Won the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Performance of the Night.|
|Win||20–1 (1)||Volkan Oezdemir||TKO (punches)||UFC 220||January 20, 2018||2||2:00||Boston, Massachusetts, United States||Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Performance of the Night. Cormier vacated the title on December 28, 2018.|
|NC||19–1 (1)||Jon Jones||NC (overturned by CSAC)||UFC 214||July 29, 2017||3||3:01||Anaheim, California, United States||Retained the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Originally a KO (head kick and punches) loss; overturned to a no contest after Jones tested positive for a turinabol metabolite. Cormier was subsequently reinstated as champion.|
|Win||19–1||Anthony Johnson||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC 210||April 8, 2017||2||3:37||Buffalo, New York, United States||Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||18–1||Anderson Silva||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 200||July 9, 2016||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Non-title bout.|
|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 Tournament.|
|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||TKO (submission to punches)||XMMA 3||November 5, 2010||1||2:23||Sydney, Australia||Defended the XMMA Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||5–0||Jason Riley||TKO (submission to 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|
|1.||UFC 182||Jones vs. Cormier||January 3, 2015||MGM Grand Garden Arena||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.||800,000|
|2.||UFC 187||Johnson vs. Cormier||May 23, 2015||MGM Grand Garden Arena||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.||375,000|
|3.||UFC 192||Cormier vs. Gustafsson||October 3, 2015||Toyota Center||Houston, Texas, U.S.||250,000|
|4.||UFC 210||Cormier vs. Johnson 2||April 8, 2017||KeyBank Center||Buffalo, New York, U.S||300,000|
|5.||UFC 214||Cormier vs. Jones 2||July 29, 2017||Honda Center||Anaheim, California, U.S.||860,000|
|6.||UFC 226||Miocic vs. Cormier||July 7, 2018||T-Mobile Arena||Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||380,000|
|7.||UFC 230||Cormier vs. Lewis||November 3, 2018||Madison Square Garden||New York City, New York, U.S.||250,000|
|8.||UFC 241||Cormier vs. Miocic 2||August 17, 2019||Honda Center||Anaheim, California, U.S||450,000|
|9.||UFC 252||Miocic vs. Cormier 3||August 15, 2020||UFC Apex||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.||500,000|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Daniel Cormier.|
- Official website of Olympian Daniel Cormier (2004)
- Professional MMA record for Daniel Cormier from Sherdog
- Daniel Cormier at UFC
- Daniel Cormier profile at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame[permanent dead link]
- Daniel Cormier at Olympics at Sports-Reference.com (archived)
- Daniel Cormier at Olympics.com