When Did Daniel Cormier Begin His MMA Journey?

When Did Daniel Cormier Begin His MMA Journey?

When Did Daniel Cormier Begin His MMA Journey?

A Brief Introduction to Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier is a retired professional mixed martial artist who is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport. Born on March 20, 1979, in Lafayette, Louisiana, Cormier had a successful career in both wrestling and MMA. However, his journey in MMA didn’t start until comparatively late in his life.

Transition from Wrestling to MMA

Cormier’s athletic career began in wrestling, where he achieved remarkable success. He competed at the NCAA Division I level and even represented the United States in international competitions. Cormier’s achievements include placing fourth in the 2004 Olympic Games and winning gold at the Pan American Championships.

After his wrestling career, Cormier made the decision to transition to mixed martial arts. He saw it as an opportunity to continue his competitive spirit and utilize the skills he had acquired throughout his wrestling journey.

Entering the Strikeforce Promotion

In 2009, at the age of 30, Cormier made his professional MMA debut under the Strikeforce promotion. Despite being a relative newcomer to the sport, he quickly showcased his exceptional grappling skills and powerful striking. With his impressive performances, Cormier gained recognition within the MMA community and started building a name for himself.

Rise to the Top in the UFC

In 2013, the Strikeforce promotion merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and Cormier became part of the UFC roster. He competed in the heavyweight division and had a remarkable undefeated streak, defeating top-ranked opponents like Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, and Josh Barnett.

Cormier’s success led him to a title shot against reigning heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in 2018. In a highly anticipated bout, Cormier emerged victorious, capturing the UFC heavyweight title and solidifying his status as one of the best fighters in the world.

Light Heavyweight Success and Retirement

After capturing the heavyweight title, Cormier also found success in the light heavyweight division. He had notable victories against the likes of Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson, capturing the UFC light heavyweight title in the process.

Throughout his career, Cormier’s resolve and skill were evident, making him a fan favorite. However, in August 2020, he announced his retirement following a trilogy fight with Stipe Miocic, which he lost. Cormier retired with a professional MMA record of 22 wins, three losses, and one no-contest.

Legacy and Impact on MMA

Daniel Cormier’s journey in MMA showcases the importance of discipline, hard work, and determination. His successful transition from wrestling to MMA has inspired many athletes to pursue their dreams in the sport. Cormier’s achievements in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions cemented his legacy as a true legend in MMA history.

In addition to his in-ring accomplishments, Cormier’s charisma and sportsmanship made him a beloved figure within the MMA community. Since retiring, he has transitioned into a successful career as a commentator and analyst, providing insights and expert analysis on UFC events.


Daniel Cormier’s MMA journey began relatively late in his career but proved to be highly successful. From his wrestling background to his achievements in the UFC, Cormier’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance and dedication. His impact on MMA will continue to be felt for years to come, inspiring future generations of fighters to follow in his footsteps.


1. When did Daniel Cormier start his MMA career?

Daniel Cormier began his MMA career in September 2009.

2. Where did Daniel Cormier have his first professional MMA fight?

Daniel Cormier had his first professional MMA fight in Strikeforce.

3. How old was Daniel Cormier when he started training in MMA?

Daniel Cormier was 30 years old when he started training in MMA.

4. Which weight class did Daniel Cormier primarily compete in during his career?

Daniel Cormier primarily competed in the heavyweight and light heavyweight weight classes.

5. How many wins did Cormier have in his amateur MMA career?

Daniel Cormier had a perfect amateur MMA career record with 5 wins and no losses.

6. Who was Cormier’s first opponent in the UFC?

Daniel Cormier’s first opponent in the UFC was Frank Mir.

7. What year did Cormier win the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix?

Daniel Cormier won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in 2012.

8. Which organization did Cormier join after Strikeforce disbanded?

After Strikeforce disbanded, Daniel Cormier joined the UFC.

9. How many title defenses did Cormier have during his UFC career?

Daniel Cormier had three successful title defenses during his UFC career.

10. When did Daniel Cormier officially retire from professional MMA?

Daniel Cormier officially retired from professional MMA on August 15, 2020.