|Born||in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA|
|Height||5' 9½" (1.77 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Daniel Cormier, a relatively short Heavyweight, has met success against bigger opponents in freestyle wrestling and later in Mixed Martial Arts. Cormier was raised in Lafayette, Louisiana where he was raised by his mother and stepfather. Cormier became a pro wrestling fan by age 10, which he watched on TV often. When he was 11, a coach introduced him to wrestling after breaking up a parking lot fight with him and a friend. He attended Louisiana High School where he won his first medals, thrice winning a Division I All-American and State championships. Cormier also played the linebacker position in football, and was offered a scholarship to play at Louisiana State University. He chose wrestling instead, and in 1997 he went to Colby Junior College in Kansas where he attended for two years, then transferred to Oklahoma State University (OSU). It was at OSU that he became a roommate and friend of King Mo. In 2001 he was a runner-up in the NCAA Division I Collegiate Championship and NCAA Big 12 Conference. Cormier won a gold medal at the 2002 at the Pan American Games, and another in 2003 during the Pan American Games. In 2007, he won bronze medals at the FILA Wrestling World Championships, and the FILA Wrestling World Championships.
While preparing to audition for the Olympics team, Cormier's 3 1/2 month daughter,Kaedyn Imri Cormier , died in a car accident on June 14, 2003 in Austin, Texas. The car she was in was hit by a 18 wheeler truck. Severely afflicted by the loss, Cormier stopped wrestling. After some time off, he made the 2004 US Olympics team in Athens, where he finished 4th. Cormier declined an offer from World Wrestling Entertaiment, and to try for the Olympics again. Due to a kidney failure he sustained from cutting weight to 211.5 pounds, Cormier withdrew from the US Olympic wrestling team in 2008, a day before he was to compete in the Beijing Olympics. Cormier could not train for a year, which ended his wrestling career.
In 2009, Cormier started to train in Mixed Martial Arts out of San Jose's American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) , training with King Mo, Cain Velasquez, and Luke Rockhold. Injuring his ribs a week before, Cormier fought fellow OSU alumni, Gary Frazier, in his first bout at Strikeforce Challengers: Strikeforce Challengers 3 (2009). Cormier kept the fight standing by defending a takedown, landing a knee and taking control of Frazier's back and dominating him on the ground for a portion of the round. After exchanging punches in the second round, Cormier failed to get the takedown after numerous attempts when Frazier held the fence. Cormier gets the better of the stand-up by landing right punches and uppercuts. Frazier missed a knee strike and slipped, which Cormier took advantage of and gets top to land multiple punches to the head and won by TKO. Cormier got his first knockout at Strikeforce Challengers: Strikeforce Challengers 7 (2010), defeating John Devine in the first round.
Cormier remained active outside of Strikeforce (2009) in July 2010, initiating the busiest weeks of his MMA career by taking a fight against Lucas Browne in the Australian promotion Xtreme MMA, replacing injuring teammate Mike Kyle with two days notice. In a bout for the XMMA Heavyweight Championship, Cormier took Brown e to the ground early, and won with devastating striking in four and a half minutes, resulting in Browne receiving up to one hundred stitches. Cormier returned to the United States two weeks later to challenge Tony Johnson Jr. for the King of the Cage Heavyweight Championship, instead of competing at Strikeforce Challengers: Strikeforce Challengers 10 (2010) as planned. Johnson attacked with punches which put Cormier on the defensive. To stop Johnson's offense, Cormier clinches with him and held him against the cage. Johnson gets a double-leg takedown and is reversed with Cormier on top. Cormier controls Johnson on the ground, controlling his back and going for his neck. Johnson struggled to get Cormier off his back until the rear-naked choke is completely secured for the submission win. It was Cormier's second championship win in two weeks. Eight days after winning the King of the Cage title, Cormier fought Jason Riley at Strikeforce: Houston (2010). Riley defended a single-leg take-down by Cormier then clinched with him against the fence. Cormier went for another take-down which Riley evaded. A right hand from Cormier stuns Riley and he was easily taken to the ground via double-leg. Further strikes forced Riley to submit by tapping the mat with his right hand. Cormier won the bout in just over a minute, making it his quickest fight.
Cormier returned to Sydney, Australia to defend the Xtremme MMA Heavyweight Championship against Soa Palelei at XMMA 3 in November 2010. It was a successful title defense for Cormier, who submitted Palelei by way of punches. Cormier took on Devin Cole at Strikeforce Challengers: Strikeforce Challengers 13 (2011). He tossed Cole to the ground in round one, and landed an assortment of kicks, including a powerful overhand right, more kicks and a take-down trip to the ground. Cormier hit Cole with a leg kick in the second round, then a hip toss which Cole quickly stood up from. Cormier quickly defended against his grounded opponent and got full mount. Cole briefly stood up before he was taken down by Cormier again, who attempted a rear-naked choke. Cole attacked from his back with an attempted kimura on Cormier's left arm until the round ended. Cormier landed a leg kick, then battled for position against the cage while on the feet. The fighters were separated and Cormier defended a takedown try by Cole. Cormier controlled his grounded opponent who stood up at they fought against the fence again. Cormier took Cole to the ground with a body lock and landed punches until the round expired, and won by unanimous decision.
Cormier was to have fought Shane Del Rosario in an alternate bout for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament, but injuries from a car accident took Del Rosario from the fight. Jeff Monson replaced him at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum (2011). Cormier and Monson engaged with punches in round one, and Cormier connected with kicks and more punches. Cormier landed more kicks in round two, and did not follow Monson--known for his submission abilities--to the ground. Cormier reversed against the cage, landed more strikes and tossed his opponent to the ground and backed away. In the final round, a determined Monson tried taking down Cormier, whom instead struck with punches, knees, and a leg trip. Cormier won by unanimous decision. In August 2011, with his recent win over Monson, Cormier was promoted from alternate to compete in Strikeforce's Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament by replacing Alistair Overeem. Cormier proceeded to Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov (2011) where he met Antonio Silva in a semi-final Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix fight.
Silva hit his body with a right kick and Cormier reacted with a right leg kick. Silva threw a barrage of punches, some of which connected on Cormier. Cormier hit Silva with a overhand right, allowed him to stand and defended against a takedown attempt which lead to Silva on his back again. The fight was stood up and Cormier connected with a left jab and "Bigfoot" Silva hit him with punches. Silva is put down for a second time when Cormier caught a right leg kick from him, then kicks away his left leg. Cormier backs away for the second time to allow Silva up, hit him with left jabs and a right uppercut which stunned him. Cormier finishes with a right hammer-fist then a left hammer-fist to win by knockout in the first round. Cormier advanced to the tournament finals with Josh Barnett, who submitted Sergei Kharitonov in the main event of the same card. Cormier re-injured his right hand fighting Silva in September 2011--then hurt it again in December 2012--postponing the final Grand Prix from March to May 2012.
Cormier fought Barnett for the Strikeforce World Grand Prix Championship at Strikeforce: Heavyweight Grand Prix Final (2012). He evaded Barnett's jabs and countered with kicks. Barnett struck him with a knee. Cormier him with a barrage of punches. Barnett lands left knee to side of Cormier's face to end the round. In round two Barnett hit Cormier with a left low kick, Cormier punches him in the face. Barnett pushes forward and Cormier hits him with a right uppercut. He gets a single-leg takedown on Barnett who tries a triangle choke and Cormier easily avoids it then an arm-bar. Cormier walks out of a leg-lock submission then landed more punches and elbows from the top. Barnett pushes Cormier against the fence after round three started. Cormier defends the takedown attempts, then grabs Barnett's left leg and picks him up and slams him to the ground on his back. Cormier gets side control but Barnett manages to get up. Cormier lands more punches, then later hit Barnett with a right head kick after a failed takedown. He hit Barnett with knees to end the round. Barnett started of championship round four by hitting Cormier with a left knee, who retaliates with a left hook. Cormier connects with left and right head kicks then get a takedown by holding a leg and tripping Barnett's other one. Barnett attempts submissions on Cormier's right leg/foot. Cormier escapes and control the action from top. In the fifth and final round, an aggressive Barnett hits a right body kick and continued with knees and punches on Cormier against the fence. Barnett lands another knee and a punch when the fight is resumed off the fence. Barnett lands a left hook, body kick and more punches. Cormier connects with two punches and Barnett misses a spinning back fist. Cormier takes him to the ground, and Barnett fought his way to the feet and prevented being slammed by Cormier. Cormier won unanimously on all the judge's score cards to be crowned the Strikeforce World Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament Champion.
As the tournament champion, Cormier was obligated by Strikeforce (2009) 's TV partner, Showtime Networks, to have one more bout in the promotion. UFC fighter Frank Mir agreed to fight Cormier until a knee injury a month before forced him out of the scheduled November 2012 card. The entire card was cancelled after an injury prevented Strikeforce Middleweight World Champion Luke Rockhold from defending the title against Lorenz Larkin. Cormier was later matched against Dutch fighter Dion Staring at the promotion's final event, Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine (2013). Cormier controlled Staring for much of the first round after tripping him twice and landing strikes from the full mounted position to end the round. Staring went after Cormier with punches in the second round and both fought for control against the fence. Cormier resumed his dominance when he tripped Staring with his left leg and controlled him on the ground and attacked from various angles with punches until a technical knockout stoppage with under a minute left in the round. Cormier remained undefeated in all 11 of his MMA fights, with 8 of those wins happening in Strikeforce (2009).
- IMDb Mini Biography By: invictorious