Las Vegas, May 8: UFC on Sunday (May 8) announced that former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame's 'Modern Wing' as a member of the Class of 2022.
"Daniel Cormier is one of the most badass competitors of all time," said UFC President Dana White. "DC faced the greatest athletes in the world on every level of wrestling and MMA. He is also the ultimate professional.
"As an active fighter, he always took time for the media, which led him to become one of the best TV analysts in all of sports. DC is one of the greatest ambassadors UFC has ever had, and it's going to be an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer."
Cormier will enter the UFC Hall of Fame as a member of the Modern Wing, joining others in this distinguished category, including Forrest Griffin (2013), BJ Penn (2015), Urijah Faber (2017), Ronda Rousey (2018), Michael Bisping (2019), Rashad Evans (2019), Georges St-Pierre (2020) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (2022).
The "Modern Era" category includes athletes who turned pro on or after November 17, 2000 (when the first UFC event under the unified rules of MMA was held), are a minimum age of 35 or who have been retired for one year or more.
A veteran of 26 fights during his 11-year professional MMA career, Cormier compiled a record of 22-3, 1 NC (18-3, 1 NC UFC / Strikeforce).
He notched up victories over former UFC heavyweight champions Stipe Miocic, Frank Mir, and Josh Barnett, as well as former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Plus wins in the UFC 17: Redemption middleweight tournament and over former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson, and former Cage Warriors super heavyweight champion Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. He also secured notable wins over Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson, and Derrick Lewis.
Cormier made his professional MMA debut during Strikeforce Challengers: Kennedy vs. Cummings on September 25, 2009, defeating Gary Frazier via TKO (punches) in the second round.
Cormier would then defeat his next 10 opponents, becoming the King of the Cage heavyweight champion and winning the 2012 Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix before joining UFC.
Cormier made his UFC debut against Frank Mir during UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez on April 20, 2013. Cormier defeated Mir via unanimous decision and followed with victories over Roy Nelson, Patrick Cummins, and Dan Henderson, to earn his first shot at the UFC light heavyweight title against UFC Hall of Famer Jon Jones at UFC 182.
UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier took place on January 3, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and served as the first UFC main event of Cormier's career. Cormier would lose his first title shot to Jones via unanimous decision, but the title would be vacated three days later, as it was revealed that Jones failed his pre-fight drug test.
Cormier was granted his second opportunity to claim his first UFC championship when he faced Anthony Johnson for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier.
In that event, which took place on May 23, 2015, at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Cormier dominated the first two rounds before submitting Johnson via rear-naked choke in the third to capture his first UFC title.
Cormier would then win four of his next five fights over three years, defending the light heavyweight title three times in the process.
Cormier returned to the heavyweight division to face champion Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier, which took place on July 7, 2018, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After grappling with Miocic across the Octagon, Cormier connected with a short right hand with 27 seconds remaining in the first round to defeat Miocic via TKO. The win etched his name into the record books as he became only the second athlete in UFC history to hold two divisional titles simultaneously.
Cormier then defended the UFC heavyweight title four months later by defeating Derrick Lewis vis rear-naked choke submission in the main event of UFC 230: Cormier vs. Lewis, on November 3, 2018, at Madison Square Garden.
Following his UFC heavyweight title defense, Cormier vacated the UFC light heavyweight championship and focused solely on defending the heavyweight title. He faced Miocic two more times in the main events of UFC 241: Cormier vs. Miocic 2 and UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier 3, losing both, before officially retiring from competition.
During his Hall of Fame career, Cormier trained under Javier Mendez at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, Calif. He is one of several former UFC champions to train at AKA under Mendez.
Cormier enters the UFC Hall of Fame with an impressive resume that includes:
• One of only four simultaneous two-division champions in UFC history (Light Heavyweight & Heavyweight)
• Most significant strikes head landed in a UFC heavyweight fight (UFC 241 vs. Miocic) - 162
• Most significant strikes landed in a UFC heavyweight fight (UFC 241 vs. Miocic) - 181
• Second-most significant head strikes landed in a UFC light heavyweight fight (UFC 192 vs. Gustafsson) - (111)
• Third-most title fight wins in UFC light heavyweight history - (4)
• Third-highest significant striking accuracy in UFC heavyweight history - (61.6%)
• Third-most significant strikes landed in a UFC light heavyweight fight (UFC 192 vs. Gustafsson) -140
• Tied for third-most significant clinch strikes landed in a UFC light heavyweight fight (UFC 192 vs. Gustafsson) - (48)
• Tied for 10th-most title fight victories in UFC history - (6)
A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Cormier began wrestling at Northside High School, capturing three consecutive (1995-97) Louisiana State Division 1 wrestling titles while also earning All-State honors each year.
Cormier finished his high school career with a record of 101-9. Following high school, Cormier began his college wrestling career at Colby Community College (Kansas), securing a perfect 61-0 record en route to becoming a two-time Junior College National Champion (1998-99) in the 197 lbs. division.
In 2000, Cormier transferred to Oklahoma State University, posting a 53-10 record and earning All-American honors as a senior in 2001. In 2009, he was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association in 2021.
Following his collegiate career, Cormier competed in freestyle wrestling, winning six consecutive gold medals (2003-08) during the USA Senior National Wrestling Championships.
He also competed internationally, capturing the gold medal in 2002 and 2003 during the Pan American Championships, as well as the gold medal at the Pan American Games in 2003. Cormier was also as a member of the US Olympic Wrestling team for the 2004 and 2008 Summer Games.
Outside the Octagon, Cormier has become an accomplished combat sports analyst with ESPN and serves as a commentator during UFC events.
He also serves as the co-host of DC & RC with NFL Super Bowl champion Ryan Clark, and hosts his own digital series, "The DC Check-In" on YouTube. Earlier this year, he also served as a wrestling analyst for ESPN during the 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Cormier also serves as the full-time head coach of the Gilroy High School wrestling team, while also coaching multiple youth teams at the Daniel Cormier Wrestling Academy. Cormier resides in Gilroy, California, with his wife, Salina, and three children.
The 2022 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Toyo Tires, will take place on Thursday, June 30, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Tickets can be purchased via AXS. The event will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass starting at 7 PM PT.
Source: Press Release