Daniel Cormier is a retired Olympic wrestler, mixed martial artist, and UFC fighter. Cormier is considered the greatest MMA fighter of all time and ranks third on the list of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC.
However, not everything in his life has been about winning – perhaps his greatest opponent in life has been death, which defeated him on numerous occasions and robbed him of people who were dear to him. Read more to get to know this UFC light heavyweight champion better.
Daniel Cormier Bio
Daniel Cormier was born on March 20, 1979, in Lafayette, Louisiana, as Daniel Omar Cormier. He is one of his parents’ four children – Joseph and Audrey Cormier. His siblings are an older brother, Joseph, a sister, Felicia, and a younger brother, Feral Cormier. He is said to have attended several high schools. He is affiliated with Louisiana High School and Northside High School. After high school, Cormier attended Colby Community College for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
Early Life and Career
Daniel Cormier has experienced tragedy twice in his life. When he was eight years old, he lost his father in a domestic shooting and as an adult, he lost his three-month-old daughter in a car accident. But the wrestler has used these tragedies to move forward. Read all about his tragic experiences and his stellar career.
He started wrestling after he was caught fighting in the school parking lot. When he interrupted the two young schoolmates who were so busy aiming at each other with folded fists, the school’s wrestling coach (who stopped the fight) advised that there was a productive way to fight, through the school wrestling team, days later Cormier signed up and joined the school’s wrestling team.
During his time in high school (Northside High School), Cormier participated in Louisiana State Championships and won 3 titles and was twice voted Outstanding Wrestler in the State Championship. When he left school, he had only lost 9 times in 110 wrestling duels. After conquering the state, Cormier wrestled at the Greco-Roman World Wrestling Championships in 1995 and took home a bronze medal in the cadet class.
Daniel Cormier also played American football as a linebacker in high school. He was so good at it that he was offered a scholarship to continue his studies at the prestigious Louisiana State University (LSU), which he turned down before a career in wrestling. He joined Colby Community College, where he continued his wrestling adventure and won the National College Championship in 1998 and 1999.
His record in college wrestling was flawless with 61 wins and no losses before he transferred to Oklahoma State University (OSU) in 2000 and won 26 to 5 that same year. In 2001, he became All-American (after falling behind by one game the previous year), and his final record was 53 wins and 10 losses (with six of his defeats being against Cael Sanderson).
Daniel Cormier became champion in 2004, the only season in the disbanded Real Pro Wrestling League. He represented the United States at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games in the wrestling category (although he did not compete in the 2008 event due to kidney failure, he was the captain of the team). He was also consecutive US National Champion between 2003 and 2008. In 2003 and 2005 Cormier won the gold medals at the Pan American Games, which are held every four years. In 2007 he won bronze at the World Wrestling Championships.
He retired from wrestling after a problem with kidney failure prevented him from training for 12 months in 2008. He made his comeback in 2009, but this time in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). He trained at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, California, together with other kickboxers, which gave him a different approach to his fighting style. His first fight in the MMA took place in September 2009, which he won.
He also fought in the Xtreme Mixed Martial Arts (XMMA) heavyweight championship and won his first MMA title. His second title – KOTC Heavyweight Championship – came two weeks later, after he had defeated the then champion, Tony Johnson. He registered with the Strikeforce organization for eight fights and won them all. He is currently fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the lightweight champion.
In all his successes in the ring – from his days in wrestling to his mixed martial arts (MMA) and UFC fights – the American-born UFC light heavyweight champion has amassed a considerable fortune. His salary cannot be calculated, as it is not paid monthly or weekly, but per fight. Fans who want to know what he is worth would be happy to know that Daniel Cormier currently has net assets of $4 million.
Daniel Cormier’s Wife, Daughter
Daniel Cormier is currently married to his long-time girlfriend Salina Deleon. He proposed to her on July 4, 2014, at Chateau Gardens in Las Vegas, and three years later, on May 27, 2017, they entered into a marriage. They have two children, a son, Daniel Jr (born February 16, 2011), and a daughter, Marquita Cormier (March 4, 2012).
Cormier had a daughter, Kaedyn Imri Cormier, with his then-girlfriend, Carolyn Flowers, an Oklahoma State track and field athlete. However, he lost her to the cold hands of death in a car accident on June 14, 2003, when an 18-wheel truck crashed into the car carrying the three-month-old child in Austin, Texas. He was also married in 2002 to a woman known only by her first name, Robin. However, they were divorced in 2003 and the marriage was annulled.
Other Facts – Height, Weight, Measurements
Daniel Cormier is 180 cm (5 ft 11 in) tall, but in the past, he has often come up against larger opponents in a fight. He weighs 93 kg (205 lbs) and his body measurements are not available.
He was offered to join the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), but he declined.
The suffering (kidney failure) that kept him from wrestling at the 2008 Beijing Olympics also led to his premature withdrawal from wrestling altogether.
He is currently an assistant coach at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, California.
Daniel Cormier’s son, Daniel Jr., follows in his father’s footsteps and trains at the AKA in amateur wrestling.
Cormier has never lost in all his 11 fights in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), including eight fights in Strikeforce.
He has an eternal rivalry with Jon Jones in the UFC.