Daniel Cormier or ‘DC’, is a former undisputed UFC light-heavyweight and heavyweight champion, two belts that he held simultaneously (the second athlete in the organization to accomplish this feat).
In the MMA world where muscles, tattoos and insults are taken as a commonplace part of the game, Daniel Cormier, love handles and all, appears a comparative alien. However, the American is certainly one of the greatest champions in the history of MMA, despite his ‘Mister Nice Guy’ character not fitting the stereotypical UFC image.
Daniel Cormier has gone through so much drama in his life, but has managed to keep his head above water. The discipline of sports has helped him tremendously including that of freestyle wrestling which he started at the age of 11. This led him to several national titles as well as to qualifying twice for the Olympic Games.
His athletic life and job as a sports consultant aside, Cormier also regularly trains young children in wrestling. The multiple-champion loves to pass on his passion for the sport, a field that has helped him through four challenging decades. Now let’s get a grip on Daniel Cormier’s Top 5 MMA Finishes (in descending order)!
- Vs. Anthony Johnson 1 — UFC 187 (May 23, 2015)
- Vs. Anthony Johnson 2 — UFC 210 (April 8, 2017)
- Vs. Volkan Oezdemir — UFC 220 (Jan. 20, 2018)
- Vs. Antônio Silva — Strikeforce: Barnett vs Kharitonov (Sept. 10, 2011)
- Stipe Miocic 1 — UFC 226 (July 7, 2018)
This event was expected to be headlined by a UFC light heavyweight championship fight between the champ Jon Jones and top contender Anthony Johnson. However, on April 28, following Jones’ hit-and-run incident, the UFC stripped him of the title and suspended him.
He was replaced by previous title challenger Daniel Cormier, scheduled to face Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC Fight Night 68.
In the opening seconds of the fight, Cormier was decked by a Johnson overhand right. Cormier won the next round, then submitted Johnson by rear naked choke in the third round to become the new UFC light heavyweight champion. The last time the light heavyweight championship had changed hands was in 2011 when Jones defeated Shogun (to become the youngest UFC champion). This bout earned Cormier a Performance of the Night bonus.
The light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier faced Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson again, in UFC 210’s main event to defend his belt. He delivered a similar performance as in their first fight two years earlier.
Daniel won by submitting Rumble in round two which made the choice to challenge his opponent in wrestling a good one.
As in their first encounter, Johnson started despatching pain to Cormier’s door during the first round, notably in an aggressive surge which he concluded by kicking Cormier’s head – a blow that was absorbed without flinching.
In the second round, the champion grabbed Johnson’s leg and brought him to the ground to dominate. The stacked cards were then played against ‘Rumble’ as Johnson tried defending Cormier’s strikes from above only to get locked up in a rear-naked choke forcing him to quit at 3 minutes 37 seconds.
After the fight, and meeting with unexpected surprise, Anthony Johnson announced that he would retire from MMA.
It was Cormier’s first bout since his loss against Jon Jones was overturned a No Contest.
From the first round, Oezdemir attacked hard and did not come across a Cormier first-round takedown attempt.
In the clinch, Volkan sought to gain an upper hand (or rather leg), very mobile, the Swiss wanted to keep the fight upright.
You could even clearer see that Cormier had improved his striking, as demonstrated in the last fight against Jones. Daniel managed to hit Volkan hard whilst the challenger tried looking for a flaw and an opening.
Both were relatively still for a few moments trying to out-telegraph the other, exchanging filler-in blows. The round ended with a takedown by the champion who proceeded with a choke, however Volkan got saved by the bell.
‘DC’ began the second round with a jab followed by a takedown. In the full mount position to crucifix, the champion starts punching Oezdemir on the ground with the referee soon stepping in to end the massacre. This was a TKO victory for Daniel Cormier.
Even though Cormier had reservations about competing in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix because of inexperience, reach and height disadvantages over the rest of the fighters, he still went for it facing Antônio Silva on just five weeks’ notice by substituting Alistair Overeem.
In an astonishing upset, he won the fight by KO in the first round, by landing multiple punches on Silva’s jaw, causing him to collapse. He then finished things off with two hammer blows to the face of the grounded Silva before the referee interfered to stop the fight. Cormier later revealed that he had broken his hand during the bout.
Probably the most important win in Daniel Cormier’s MMA career; he became the second fighter in UFC history to hold two weight-class belts simultaneously. The first to achieve this was of course Conor McGregor in November, 2016 at UFC 205.
A worthy heavyweight title holder with three title defences, Stipe Miocic started his fight well, hitting Cormier repeatedly with his boxing prowess, whilst DC kept his cool. Daniel then brings the speed of his own hands into play to change the game.
His face now marked, Miocic badly negotiated an exit from the clinch and got caught by a savage right hook to the chin. ‘DC’ levied several more strikes before referee Marc Goddard called the fight at 4 minutes 33 seconds of the first round.
After his victory Cormier said, “I was a heavyweight for a long time and left the division. I didn’t know what I could become, but tonight I have the answer. I am champion of two divisions, baby!”