Daniel Cormier is a former outstanding Oklahoma State wrestler and United States Olympian who will be making his MMA debut this Friday on the Strikeforce Challengers show. He will go up against Gary Frazier in the heavyweight division.
Cormier's fight is expected to be the first fight of the night and it will be live on the cable network, Showtime. He is currently training in San Jose, California at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) to prepare for his fight.
Q&A with Daniel Cormier
DW: How's it going, DC? Are you ready and excited about your upcoming fight against Gary Frazier on Friday?
DC: Yes, I am really excited about the fight. I've had a good training camp and I feel well prepared.
DW: What do you know about Frazier?
DC: You know, I don't know much about Gary. I know that he also is a wrestler and a great athlete. Any man that steps into the cage has my respect.
DW: What can fans watching on Showtime this Friday night expect to see from you?
DC: What they can expect is a guy that goes forward, and sets the pace of his fights. Fans will never feel cheated with me because I will always give 110 percent either in victory or defeat. Hopefully I can excite them, and make them never want to miss a D.C. fight.
DW: What has been the biggest transition for you going from wrestling to MMA?
DC: The biggest transition has been the striking. I'm sure that's what all wrestlers say. Learning to punch correctly is a tough thing to do (laughs).
DW: There are a lot of MMA gyms all over the country. Why did you pick AKA as the place to train?
DC: I chose AKA because it's one of the best camps in the fight game and my training situation is unmatched. To be able to go and train with the guys I train with daily is a blessing. It was just the best place for me. I knew that after being here for two days.
DW: Of all the great and talented fighters in AKA that you train with on a daily basis, which one has impressed you the most?
DC: All of the guys train really hard, but I must say no one has impressed me more than Cain Velasquez. He's one of the biggest guys in the gym, but also one of the hardest workers. Those two things don't normally go together. He has unbelievable skill too.
DW: Can you tell me what a regular day of training at AKA consists of?
DC: The training varies from day to day. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are sparring days. Tuesdays and Thursdays are grappling and jiu-jitsu days. At night, we do individual workouts and cardio.
DW: How do you enjoy living in the Bay Area? What is the biggest difference between living here and the other places you have lived at?
DC: Living here has been cool. I've been in Stillwater for 10 years and it's real small. The diversity of this city (San Jose) has been the biggest change. Also, if you have time, there are always things to do here, such as concerts and shows.
DW: Were you a MMA fan growing up, and do you have any fighters that you look up to?
DC: I have watched MMA since the early days. For me though, most everything goes back to wrestling so watching Kevin Jackson and Kenny Monday fight was always cool to me.
DW: Thanks a lot, DC for taking the time to talk to me. Good luck in your MMA debut.
DC: Thanks for having me and watch the fights on September 25th. I also want to thank Gary Frazier for accepting the fight on such short notice. Lastly, I want to thank all my sponsors and say what's up to my Team Thirsty and GDP brother KING MO. DC. GDP!!!!