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Olympic Wrestler Daniel Cormier Turns Focus to MMA

Daniel CormierThe sport of mixed martial arts has been flooded in recent years by world class wrestlers that have had an immediate and profound impact on the fight game. Collegiate and Olympic level wrestlers such as Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Matt Hughes and Mark Coleman have been able to develop quite a niche in MMA, while fresh blood from the wrestling mats across the United States include Ben Askren, Phil Davis and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.

The newest face set to make an impact on the scene has all the tools to go as far, or further in the sport as any grappler before him. was notified in a press release issued through Zinkin Entertainment & Sports Management that the company was recently able to secure Daniel Cormier to compete in mixed martial arts.

Cormier is a two-time United States Olympian and an astounding six-time U.S. National Champion that initially made a name for himself competing out of the illustrious Oklahoma State University wrestling program. He compiled an overall collegiate wrestling record of 117-10, and quite honestly his resume is jaw-dropping so I’ll allow it to speak for itself…..

2x United States Olympian: Freestyle (’08 Beijing, ’04 Athens)
6x U.S National Champion
8x U.S National Team Member
2002-2009 Ranked #1 in the U.S
2008 U.S National Champion
2008 U.S Olympic Trials, Champion
2008 U.S Olympic Team Captain
2008 NJCAA Hall of Fame Inductee
2007 World Championships, Bronze Medalist
2007 USA Wrestling Freestyle Wrestler of the Year
2007 Pan Am Games, Bronze Medalist
2006 World Cup, Champion
2005 World Cup, Silver Medalist
2005 Yarygin International Tournament, Champion
2005 Super Cup, Silver Medalist ( Russia )
2004 Olympic Games, 4th place ( Athens )
2004 Titan games, Champion
2004 Boutiatyr Grand Prix, Champion ( Russia )
2003 Pan Am Games, Champion
2003 World Championships, 5th place
2003 Yarygin International Tournament, Bronze Medalist
2003 Absolute World Championships, Bronze Medalist
2002 Pan Am Games, Champion
2001 NCAA Championships, Silver Medalist
3x NCAA College All-American
2x NJCAA National Champion (‘97,’98)
3x Louisiana State Champion
1995 Cadet World Championships, Bronze Medalist

Daniel staked out his career wrestling in college at right around the 211 pound mark, so it will be interesting to see which weight class he ultimately decides to settle with.

The blue chip prospect is set to begin training in the near future at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. The same gym that top level fighters such as Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck, Josh Thomson and Jon Fitch all call home.

  • 3OAM says:


  • dpk says:

    I’m pretty sure he would be a LHW,seeing that he has been wrestling at 211 lbs.

    This guy has great credentials, but at 30 years old is getting a little bit of a late start on MMA. It will be interesting to follow him and see how he does.

  • 3OAM says:


  • mu_shin says:

    Read a little bit about this guy after reading the article.

    Like most wrestlers, he probably has intense strength to weight ratio, likely cuts to 211 to compete. If he can learn to punch and handle himself in a standup situation, he sounds like he could be a formidable MMA fighter.

  • Austin says:

    Zinkin means AKA in cali. That’s too bad, this guy would have been better served training at ATT with Hector Lombard and the thiago’s (alves and silva).

  • Austin says:

    OR Team quest. I can’t believe I forgot about them (hendo’s team, not lindland’s) Henderson and that guy who won those fights in the little man contest in dream.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Well, his wrestling should definately be high caliber….. I’m interested to see where his striking and hand speed is. I think at 205 he would definately make waves.

  • dpk says:

    Cormier, and Ben Askren have made the jump from the Olympic team. King Mo was favored to be on the Olympic team, but got upset. Does anyone know what Henry Cejudo ended deciding about MMA? Are any other Olympians or College All Americans from the last year transitioning into MMA?

  • ihateurface says:

    I don’t think age will play much of a factor for a guy like this. Wrestling doesn’t put the beating on your brain that fighting does. So in that regard he is still relatively fresh.

  • edub says:

    I definately think this guy has the pedigree to be great,…but i also think he is gonna have a very short window to be great in this sport. Someone shouldve told him 5 years ago to get into MMA.

  • “I definately think this guy has the pedigree to be great,…but i also think he is gonna have a very short window to be great in this sport. Someone shouldve told him 5 years ago to get into MMA.”

    Thanksfully, as MMA continues to grow and become more popular, wrestlers will see this as a more viable option straight out of college. So we will get more early 20-year olds with great wrestling credentials and a lot of time to hone their other skills.

    Before, if a wrestler wanted to stay in the wrestling game, he’d have to coach somewhere and/or hope for the Olympics.

  • metalmulisha says:

    I don’t think his age is a huge deal. Joe Warren is having a lot of success early in his MMA career and is a few years older than Cormier.

    There’s a big difference between a guy getting a late start in MMA who already has a world class wrestling background as opposed to a Brawler like Kimbo Slice or some of the football players who switch over to MMA after football.

  • metal’s got a point.

    Lesnar started training in his late 20s.

  • edub says:

    Wow Joe Warens 32 I didnt know that at all I thought he was like 26. However Joe Warren is the best in the world at his weightclass for Greco. Cormier is a great wrestler but there are a lot of great wrestlers in his division.

  • edub says:

    Lesnar is a hulking almost three hundred lb man with unbelievable quickness though I dont think you can prepare anyone to Lesnar right now(even Carwin).

  • The best thing about MMA getting big is that kids who would normally turn to baseball or soccer or football are instead signing up for BJJ classes or taking wrestling in HS.

    I really wish there had been a BJJ school near me when I started watching UFC at 12. I settled for a TKD academy that I quickly grew tired of.

    I wanted to roll around and make bitches tap, son!

  • Jstew3785 says:

    I’m with you Sergio. I didn’t have anything near me growing up. Now I have trained a little with my bro who is a purple belt in BJJ and it is amazing. I’ve picked up a few things, but he still taps me out about 3 times a minute. My favorite moves are the triangle and armbar. There is nothing like locking in one and knowing you got it and there is nothing they can do about it.


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