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It took him two tries, but Daniel Cormier can finally call himself the UFC’s light heavyweight champion – a title he earned through perseverance, hard work and a refusal to accept no for an answer.
When Jon Jones was suspended indefinitely and stripped of his belt in April 2015, Cormier begged UFC president Dana White for a chance to fight for the title again, despite having lost to Jones by unanimous decision in January 2015.
Cormier got a second opportunity and capitalized, using a third-round rear naked choke on Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 187 to claim the vacant title.
Cormier is no stranger to success, having been a two-time Olympic wrestler and six-time U.S. Open national champion, but he has also struggled with losses. At Oklahoma State, he lost the Division I finals. He finished fourth at the 2008 Olympics and never made it to the 2012 Summer Games after falling ill.
• Pro since 2009
• Eight wins by knockout, three by submission (3 RNC)
• Received Jiu-Jitsu brown belt in Oct. 2013
• Has 5-1 record at light heavyweight