Date of Birth:
Daniel Cormier was born on March 20, 1979, in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Training Camp and Fighting Organization:
Cormier trains at American Kickboxing
Academy (AKA) in San Jose, California. He currently fights for the Zuffa-owned Strikeforce
Daniel is the son of Joseph and Audrey Cormier. His father was killed when he was only seven years of age (see Family Tragedies section below).
High School Wrestling and Athletic Background:
Despite dealing with various tragedies throughout his school years, Cormier was a very successful wrestler. He got his start in the sport after a fistfight in the school parking lot. The wrestling
coach broke up the scuffle and suggested the two find a more productive outlet. In response, Cormier joined the wrestling team. Although he didn't initially have as much success as his younger brother, Ferral, he did eventually become a three-time Louisiana
state champion and high school All-American, posting a 101-9 overall high school record. What's more, he was an All-State high school selection at linebacker
. In fact, despite choosing to wrestle in college, Cormier was offered a scholarship to play football at LSU
College Wrestling and Beyond:
After high school, Cormier attended Colby Community College, where he took home two consecutive junior college national championships. Then he transferred to Oklahoma State University
, where he was NCAA runner-up to Cael Sanderson. Later, Cormier would make five US world wrestling teams, and the 2004 Olympic wrestling team, netting a 4th place finish. He was also named captain of the 2008 Olympic squad, but was unable to compete due to kidney failure. Cormier won the 211 pound class in the now defunct Real Pro Wrestling League during their only season.
MMA Early Years:
Cormier began his professional MMA
career on September 25, 2009, defeating Gary Frazier by TKO at Strikeforce Challengers: Kennedy vs. Cummings. In fact, he won his first eight fights while competing in Strikeforce, XMMA (won their heavyweight title), and KOTC (won their heavyweight title).
A stroke of luck came Cormier's way when Alistair Overeem pulled out of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in July of 2011. The Strikeforce brass chose Cormier to take his place.
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.
Cormier has been no stranger to heartache. When he was only seven years old (Thanksgiving Day, 1986), his father, Joseph, was shot and killed by the father of his second wife. Then he lost three people close to him- one as a junior in high school via a car accident; a cousin in another auto accident a year later; and then Daniel Lawson, a good college friend who died while on the plane that crashed with the Oklahoma State Cowboys basketball
The worst of the tragedies, however, was the death of his three month old daughter, Kaedyn Imri Cormier, in a car accident on June 14, 2003. Kaedyn was the daughter of Cormier and Carolyn Flowers, a track athlete at Oklahoma State. The air conditioner was not working in Flowers' vehicle that day, so she let her daughter ride in a friend's car. Though they travelled together, they were separated on the road by the time that an 18 wheeler rear ended her friend's automobile. Though Kaedyn was properly installed in an infant car seat, she did not survive.
More on Family
Cormier has an older brother, Ferral, younger brother, Joe, and a sister named Felicia. His stepfather is named Percy Benoit.
He married Robin in November of 2002.