In our exclusive two part series profiling Daniel Cormier on his way to UFC 170, Cormier goes deeper, revealing more of his family history. In addition, we meet Javier Mendez, founder and head trainer of the professional fighters at the American Kickboxing Academy. Mendez explains that when he first met Cormier he admittedly didn’t see greatness but instead a candidate for a great coach based on Cormier’s motivation. However, the fast learning curve that Cormier displayed proved he was to become one of AKA’s brightest stars.
Cormier explains that his interest in MMA was first piqued by friend and Bellator MMA fighter, Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal, who thought Cormier’s experience as a wrestler would transition seamlessly into MMA. Making his way to San Jose, Cormier chose the American Kickboxing Academy and once he received the green light from head trainers Javier Mendez and Bob Cook, he went on a fighting tear that has him undefeated with a professional record of 13-0.
Cormier, who has experienced a cornucopia of family tragedy, including the murder of his birth father and death of his grandmother, details his biggest obstacle to date. At the age of 23 he lost his 3-month old daughter in a car accident where yet again he couldn’t control the factors around the circumstances. It is the memory of his daughter that is his true source of motivation, and Cormier feels that he will never lose because he has experienced the ultimate losses in life already. His fear of competitive rivals regardless of their caliber is nonexistent due to his inability to fear anyone now.
Enjoy this installment of Driven as Daniel Cormier prepares to battle Patrick Cummins live on pay-per-view tonight.