Activities Sports & Athletics Biography and Profile of Daniel Cormier Share PINTEREST Email Print Jonathan Ferrey/Staff/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images Sports & Athletics Martial Arts Styles MMA & UFC Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Robert Rousseau Robert Rousseau is a martial arts expert and a former senior writer for MMA Fighting. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Robert Rousseau Updated July 03, 2018 Daniel Cormier was born on March 20, 1979, in Lafayette, Louisiana. Training Camp and Fighting Organization Cormier trains at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, California. He currently fights for the UFC organization. Early Life Daniel is the son of Joseph and Audrey Cormier. His father was killed when he was only seven years of age (see Family Tragedies section below). High School Wrestling and Athletic Background Despite dealing with various tragedies throughout his school years, Cormier was a very successful wrestler. He got his start in the sport after a fistfight in the school parking lot. The wrestling coach broke up the scuffle and suggested the two find a more productive outlet. In response, Cormier joined the wrestling team. Although he didn't initially have as much success as his younger brother, Ferral, he did eventually become a three-time Louisiana state champion and high school All-American, posting a 101-9 overall high school record. What's more, he was an All-State high school selection at linebacker. In fact, despite choosing to wrestle in college, Cormier was offered a scholarship to play football at LSU. College Wrestling and Beyond After high school, Cormier attended Colby Community College, where he took home two consecutive junior college national championships. Then he transferred to Oklahoma State University, where he was NCAA runner-up to Cael Sanderson. Later, Cormier would make five US world wrestling teams, and the 2004 Olympic wrestling team, netting a 4th place finish. He was also named captain of the 2008 Olympic squad but was unable to compete due to kidney failure. Cormier won the 211-pound class in the now defunct Real Pro Wrestling League during their only season. MMA Early Years Cormier began his professional MMA career on September 25, 2009, defeating Gary Frazier by TKO at Strikeforce Challengers: Kennedy vs. Cummings. In fact, he won his first eight fights while competing in Strikeforce, XMMA (won their heavyweight title), and KOTC (won their heavyweight title). A stroke of luck came Cormier's way when Alistair Overeem pulled out of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in July of 2011. The Strikeforce brass chose Cormier to take his place. Fighting Style Cormier is undoubtedly one of the best wrestlers in the MMA heavyweight division, if not the best. However, he is also highly athletic and has used this athleticism to develop into a smart and adept striker. As of late, he's been willing to mix it up on his feet against foes like Jeff Monson. Family Tragedies Cormier has been no stranger to heartache. When he was only seven years old (Thanksgiving Day, 1986), his father, Joseph, was shot and killed by the father of his second wife. Then he lost three people close to him- one as a junior in high school via a car accident; a cousin in another auto accident a year later; and then Daniel Lawson, a good college friend who died while on the plane that crashed with the Oklahoma State Cowboys basketball team. The worst of the tragedies, however, was the death of his three-month-old daughter, Kaedyn Imri Cormier, in a car accident on June 14, 2003. Kaedyn was the daughter of Cormier and Carolyn Flowers, a track athlete at Oklahoma State. The air conditioner was not working in Flowers' vehicle that day, so she let her daughter ride in a friend's car. Though they traveled together, they were separated on the road by the time that an 18 wheeler rear-ended her friend's automobile. Though Kaedyn was properly installed in an infant car seat, she did not survive. More on Family Cormier has an older brother, Ferral, younger brother, Joe, and a sister named Felicia. His stepfather is named Percy Benoit. He married Robin in November of 2002. Some of Daniel Cormier's Greatest MMA Victories Cormier defeats Alexander Gustafsson by split decision at UFC 192: Simply put, this was an absolute war. Both competitors beat each other up big time. Cormier was given the extremely close decision, but neither fighter will soon forget the trials and tribulations of this one. Cormier defeats Anthony Johnson by rear naked choke at UFC 187: Johnson hit Cormier hard, but the former wrestler was able to take the shot and keep grappling. Eventually, his ability to take some of Johnson's best, coupled with his wrestling and cardio proved to be Johnson's downfall. With the win over one of the hardest hitters in the game, Cormier gained some serious credibility and a UFC championship belt in Jon Jones' absence.