Strikeforce’s Daniel Cormier is developing as an MMA fighter at a high rate. Since beginning his professional career at ShoMMA 3 in September of 2009, the Olympian has gone without defeat in mixed martial arts, posting an impressive 6-0 record.
He’s still young, but Cormier has shown some definite development through the last year-and-a-half. His growth as a competitor can only be matched by his drive to fight. 2010 was a busy year for the Louisiana born wrestler, with five of his six career fights taking place in the past 10 months.
That might sound like a lot, but Cormier welcomes it. The opportunity to compete seems like something he hungers for, more than most fighters in the business. To Cormier, Strikeforce has brought up fighters like himself and Tyron Woodley at a pace that best suits them.
This pace has put him in a place where he feels comfortable enough to test the competition that is put in front of him, and as new opponents come, the competition has been getting tougher and tougher.
“They moved us along at a steady rate, and now it’s like really picking up,” Cormier told MMA Weekly Radio. “The guy I’m fighting now has 26 fights, and it’s going to be a really, really tough fight. I think Tyron and I have followed similar paths. I think it’s exactly what needed to happen; I needed some time. If they would have let me do what I wanted to, I probably wouldn’t be fighting anymore right now because I wanted to fight so often. They did exactly what I needed. I needed some time after my first fight. I wasn’t good enough to continue fighting as often as I wanted to in the beginning.”
Cormier’s progression has come along at a healthy pace. Training at American Kickboxing Academy with the likes of Cain Velasquez, Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and other greats will keep one sharp on their game, and Cormier knows this.
Thankful for his training partners and teammates, Cormier feels his improvement has shown since he first stepped into the cage. According to him, the Daniel Cormier of late 2009 is nothing compared to the one of present day and his rate of improvement is astonishing.
“It’s amazing and I attribute that to my training partners here at (American Kickboxing Academy) and the coaching staff,” he said. “They’ve taken me under their wing and everybody has helped me every step of the way. It is amazing because when I go back and look at my fights from last August, I don’t even recognize that guy.
“Now, I’ve had a year and a half with some of the best guys in the world. So, I’m getting better, man, and I love fighting.”
The high profile MMA posse that Cormier walks with at AKA definitely helps for preparation, especially for this next fight. Devin Cole is a veteran of the sport, having fought professionally for the past eight years. This type of experience is dangerous for anybody.
“It’s an extremely tough match-up,” Comier said about Cole. “I think it’s a privilege to fight somebody that fought at the level (Devin Cole) has. He’s fought Ben Rothwell, Jeff Monson, he’s fought Feijao, he’s fought Aron Rosa, Mike Kyle. He’s fought a lot of good guys, so this is nothing new to him, fighting on the big stage. This is a guy that dealt with fighting on TV in the IFL. Nothing is going to be new and nothing is going to be a surprise to him.”
Essentially, it’s all a game of finding the right path en route to victory, according to Cormier. He feels his Strikeforce Challengers opponent is skilled in several aspects, so finding the chink in the armor is key for Friday night.
Training camp has all but accomplished this for Mr. Cormier.
“I’ve got to really be committed to my training and that’s what I’ve done,” he said. “I was focused, I was committed, I worked hard, and I’ve got to really force Devin to fight in situations (where) he’s not comfortable. He’s pretty solid everywhere.
“I’ve got to to really set a high pace and hopefully be able to find some holes in his game.”