Daniel Cormier is a former Olympic wrestler & World Champion.
A relatively short light heavyweight and heavyweight fighter, he is billed at 5ft 11 but stated in an interview that he is 5ft 10.
Entry into Grappling Range
Cormier likes to bend at the waist and take his head to his right hand side before attempting to control his opponent’s lead leg.
Once he controls the lead leg of his opponent he likes to attempt a ‘run the pipe takedown, which is immediately follwed up with a high crotch takedown.
Off the cage wall, Cormier will sometimes finish the run-the-pipe takedown, with an inside leg trip.
Cormier also like to use the same entry – moving his head off centre-line, to grab a wrestling clinch (or “single neck tie”) with his left hand.
After establishing the clinch, he then proceeds onto exchange in the wrestlers ‘dirty boxing’ made famous by Randy Couture in his first fight against Vitor Belfort.
He is also a master at trapping and clinching opponents against the cage and striking the body with knees and punches.
Daniel Cormier 360 Block & Mummy-Guard
To enter from standard-striking range into a clinch & dirty-boxing, DC likes to use a straight arm to block to bicep of an opponent’s right cross or overhand, he then slides the same hand into a clinch to use uppercuts and short right hooks.
He uses the ‘mummy-guard’ – i.e. extending his hands forward with open palms – to occupy the space and line of trajectory that a straight punch would usually travel down. He then traps and grabs the hands of his opponent, before countering (see gif below).
Daniel Cormier Weaknesses
His height and his tendency to duck to the side make him susceptible to headkicks and knees to the head. Both are high percentage KO blows, especially when a fighter ducks into them.
Like a lot of shorter fighters, his techniques can be based on explosive strength and power, which in later rounds can take a toll on his endurance.
Powerful looping punches and battling for single leg control and takedowns, expend a lot of energy. Taller fighters can use leverage and length to keep opponent’s at bay and cause damage with jabs straight rights and straight kicking techniques, which take less energy to execute.
Cormier doesn’t have the range of finishing techniques like some other elite fighters such as Jon Jones. Jones has finished fights with standing submissions, knockouts, elbows, ground and pound and pioneering techniques. Cormier typically finishes fights with punches
Daniel Cormier Boxing
Cormier likes to box with uppercuts and short right hooks in the clinch. His boxing is excellent, World-class for MMA.
He dropped an in-prime Big Foot Silva with a huge overhand right, he mullered a World Class Barnet in Strikeforce with his boxing too, even throwing in a headkick.
Against taller opponents, he often refuses to stand in front of them – moving sideways and jumping in with single punches or 1-2 combinations. This is a tactic used by other top boxers against taller opponents, for example David Haye
DC also likes to trap hands and his straight blocks and extended arms to defend against oncoming offences. As mentioned above, he likes to use the ‘mummy-guard’ to occupy the line of attack that straight punches would normally occupy, before trapping and countering of the guard: