Former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier recently made the transition to mixed martial arts competition and has racked up four wins in less than a year of competition and will be looking to earn his fifth later this month. Cormier recently spoke with MMAFighting.com’s Ben Fowlkes and revealed that he is keeping up such a pace in order to quickly gain the experience he needs to grow as a fighter; that, at 31 years old, there isn’t time for him to waste.
“There’s no substitute for experience,” Cormier said. “I don’t have the time that some of these other guys have. I’m 31. I need to progress a little bit quicker than them.”
Cormier signed with Strikeforce in 2009 for an eight-fight deal on the strength of his decorated wrestling career alone. Cormier attributes the signing of that deal to his manager, Bob Cook.
“Hey, Bob [Cook] is my manager,” said Cormier. “He thought it was a good idea, and I’m not the type of guy who goes against the grain. He said it was a good move and I was like, let’s do it. You want to believe that people care about you and wouldn’t put you in a bad situation. I figured they know what moving over to this career meant for me, and I’ve got a really good contract with Strikeforce for good money.”
When Cormier entered into MMA competition he was forced to moved from the front of the line as one of the best wrestlers in the world to the back of the line as an inexperienced rookie fighter. Cormier said that adjusting to the switch has been difficult but that his long wrestling career prepared him for it.
“That’s been difficult, to go from the top of your sport to being on undercards after you used to be the featured guy,” Cormier said. “But I’ve done that before. I went from being the baddest man in my high school, to bottom of the totem pole in college. Then I was the best guy on the team at Colby [Community College], back to the bottom at Oklahoma State. Then the top guy on the Olympic team, to back of the pack at AKA. We’ve all done that. [Josh] Koscheck and [Jon] Fitch and Cain [Velasquez], they all went through that too. I believe that in wrestling, you learn how to deal with that adversity.”
Cormier told Fowlkes that he believes MMA fans still have the jury out on him based on the fact that there is little evidence available on which to develop an opinion.
“I don’t think people have decided what they think of me yet, because they haven’t seen enough,” said Cormier. “I think the general consensus after I fought Gary Frazier was that I suck. But that was all relative to how much training I had, which was three or four weeks. People decide what they think of you and what they expect of you, and they run with it.”
Cormier will appear in action again this month against Jason Riley at Strikeforce: Houston which is going down August 21st at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.