Daniel Cormier is a retired American mixed martial artist and former Olympic wrestler, known for being the second fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two different weight classes, simultaneously. He is also the first fighter to successfully defend titles in two separate divisions. Outside of the UFC octagon, Daniel is an international wrestler who has been part of the US World or Olympic Team six times.
Early Life and Education
Born on March 20th, 1979, in Lafayette, Louisiana, Daniel Ryan Cormier was raised alongside four siblings. However, at the young age of seven, he experienced tragedy as his father was shot and killed on Thanksgiving Day. Cormier became an avid wrestler during his high school years and eventually won 3 Louisiana State Championships, with an impressive record of 101-9.
After graduating, he attended Colby Community College in Kansas, where he became a two-time junior college national champion before transferring to Oklahoma State University to wrestle in Division I.
Wrestling and MMA Career
After leaving Oklahoma State University with a degree in sociology, Cormier entered the world of Freestyle Wrestling. He eventually placed fourth during the 2004 Olympics. He then competed in events such as the Wrestling World Championships, the Pan American Games, and the Real Pro Wrestling League. By 2008, Cormier had set his sights on a career in mixed martial arts. He started to train as a kickboxer to improve his striking, and Daniel subsequently won his first few matches in Australia.
By 2010, Daniel Cormier was one of the up-and-coming fighters at Strikeforce. He defeated a number of fighters during this time at Strikeforce, including Jason Riley, Devin Cole, Jeff Monson, Antonio Silva, and Josh Barnett. He became heavyweight champion in both Strikeforce and King of the Cage.
Daniel’s first fight in the UFC came against Frank Mir in 2013. Subsequent victories came again fighters like Roy Nelson, Patrick Cummins, and Dan Henderson. In 2015, Cormier defeated Alexander Gustafsson and announced that he had signed an eight-fight contract with the UFC for an undisclosed fee. Over the next few years, Cormier defeated Anderson Silva but was forced to pull out of multiple fights due to injuries, including a rematch against Jon Jones.
In 2017, Cormier finally faced Jones once again. He lost the fight and his light heavyweight championship after being knocked out by a head kick. However, Jones was later flagged for potential anabolic steroid use, and Cormier was given back his old title. Daniel then defended his title against fighters like Volkan Oezdemir. He then won the heavyweight title after defeating Stipe Miocic. He then defeated this second title against Derrick Lewis but lost against Miocic in a rematch in 2019. In 2020, Daniel lost against Miocic for a second time, and he announced his retirement soon afterward.
UFC Earnings and Net Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Daniel Cormier’s net worth is currently estimated at $6 million. In July of 2018, Cormier defeated Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 in Las Vegas, earning a flat rate of $500,000 for the win. On August 18th of 2019, Daniel lost to Stipe in a rematch at UFC 241, earning $750,000 for the fight, while Stipe earned $500,000.
Retirement and Coaching
After retiring from MMA, Cormier focused on work as a wrestling coach. He currently acts as the head wrestling coach at Gilroy High School in California, where he has been coaching students since 2018.