The ever-cheerful Daniel Cormier has a rather tragic story attached to his past that he seldom speaks of. The story is about his first-born daughter with a former girlfriend, Kaedyn, who unfortunately passed away much too early. Yet, the incident in question became a driving force for the athlete and helped him achieve great heights in the world of mixed martial arts.
In June 2003, Daniel Cormier's three-month-old daughter Kaedyn was involved in an accident. A car crashed into the one that Kaedyn was in from behind, causing instant death of the child.
Daniel Cormier recalled feeling terrible as he described the incident in an episode of ESPN's E:60 in 2019. He said:
"I called the highway patrol, and they told me that there was an accident on the highway, and they told me that people were injured, but there was only one fatality, and it was her [Kaedyn]... Just some guy being irresponsible. Not paying attention. The baby is strapped in, exactly as she is supposed to be. The guy bangs into the back of the car. She died at the scene. We buried Kaedyn in Killeen, Texas. I just remember her casket being so, so small. So small. I just remember her in the casket and just, not understanding why stuff like that keeps happening. Why does stuff like this keep happening?"
Daniel Cormier considered daughter's unfortunate demise as a guiding force
Daniel Cormier revealed in a conversation with theundefeated.com that the car accident on that fatal night in June 2003 left two options for him going forward. He could either hang up his gloves, or he could pick himself up and have the incident with Kaedyn propel him to greatness.
The multi-divisional champion chose the latter, and went on to become one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the UFC Octagon. He said:
"Everything I did every day of my life going forward was for Kaedyn. For a long time, it was singular. She may have been the guiding force of everything I was doing, from the moment she passed in 2003 until 2011 when I had Daniel. She has always been my guiding light. As she is still today, her and Daniel and Marquita, for me and the rest of my family. Some people don’t recover from a loss like that, and I’m just lucky that I was able to take that energy and use it to actually encourage me to train harder, work harder, work smarter."