Since moving to the UFC from StrikeForce in 2013, Daniel Cormier has become one of the most successful and popular fighters in the world’s biggest MMA promotion. He’s captured the UFC Light-Heavyweight title on two occasions and currently holds the Heavyweight title too, making him just the second fighter to hold two UFC titles in different weight classes at the same time.
Cormier is also one of the most recognisable personalities on the roster as he regularly appears on shows like UFC Tonight and quite often co-commentates on shows that he isn’t fighting on – sometimes coming out with famous soundbites as he did for Rose Namajunas’ upset win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
But despite being one of the most charismatic fighters out there, there are still plenty of fascinating facts that many fans might not know about him. Here are 5 things you might not know about Daniel Cormier.
#1 He was key to Cain Velasquez’s training camp for the Brock Lesnar fight
Back in 2010 when Cain Velasquez signed to challenge Brock Lesnar for the UFC Heavyweight title, many observers were worried for Velasquez as it was felt that Lesnar would have a strong wrestling advantage over him given the NCAA Division I title that he won in 2000. Cain though wasn’t at all bothered, and part of that was because he was training with a guy called Daniel Cormier.
In the MMA world at least, relatively few people had heard of Cormier – he was just 5-0 at the time of the Velasquez/Lesnar fight and had only just debuted in StrikeForce, and to look at the guy, he hardly resembled a wrestler as intimidating as the hulking Lesnar. But Cormier’s chubby look clearly belied his skill and come the fight, he’d helped to hone Velasquez’s game perfectly.
Cain destroyed Lesnar in the first round to take the title away from him – size difference be damned – and while the win confirmed Velasquez as the world’s best Heavyweight, it also got people talking about Cormier more than ever before.
It’d still be another year before we’d see him on a proper StrikeForce main card, but big things were expected right from the moment Lesnar was dethroned – making it ironic that DC’s next big challenge could come in the form of ‘The Beast Incarnate’.