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UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier’s rise in mixed martial arts has never been anything less than spectacular. His big break came when he was an alternate in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, stepping from the shadows into the tournament, not only to compete in it, but to win it.
Making the jump to the UFC, he left heavyweight behind for his friend and teammate, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, to become the UFC light heavyweight champion.
That’s not to say there weren’t dips in the road along the way. One particular spot of trouble has been Jon Jones. Cormier twice lost to Jones, the most recent time being at UFC 214 last July. He got a mulligan on that one, however, as Jones was cited for a UFC Anit-Doping Policy violation and Cormier reinstated as champion.
After having defeated Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220, a fight that really helped Cormier to reclaim his position as champion, he was afforded the opportunity of a lifetime before he sets sail into retirement. Cormier will coach opposite current UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic on the 27th Season of The Ultimate Fighter and then challenge him for the heavyweight strap in the UFC 226 headliner in July.
It’s a position that Cormier would have never seen himself in.
“I did not think that I would have this opportunity. I’m in a position that I never could have imagined six or seven months ago. When I left Anaheim (UFC 214), I was at my lowest,” Cormier told MMAWeekly.com on Friday.
But now he’s there. Listen in as Cormier recounts the turbulence of the past few months and how the opportunity to face Miocic came to be.