UFC Legend Daniel Cormier Talks About Kyle Dake and Jordan Burroughs During the Tokyo Olympics

Published 08/05/2021, 1:45 PM EDT


Daniel Cormier is arguably one of the best MMA fighters to step foot in the sport. While the world knows him for his exploits in the UFC, the 42-year-old began his professional career in freestyle wrestling.

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Competing in the 96kg category, Cormier won six US national championships in a row from 2003 to 2008. He made his maiden Olympic appearance in the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he finished fourth. Although he made the team four years later, he withdrew citing a kidney issue.

With Kyle Dake carrying USA’s challenge in the 74kg category in the Tokyo Olympics, Cormier compared him with fellow wrestler Jordan Burroughs.

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Daniel Cormier believes Jordan Burroughs had a tough time against Kyle Dake

Burroughs is one of USA’s most decorated freestyle wrestlers. Along with four world championships, he also tasted Olympic gold in the 74kg category at the 2012 London Olympics. The 33-year-old enjoyed a healthy record in the Olympic trials tournament heading into 2021.

However, he met his match in Dake in the trials. The 30-year-old defeated Burroughs in the trials to end his Olympic qualifying streak, meaning Dake advanced to the Games. Recently, Cormier spoke about their match, admitting Dake showed great skills on the mat. He believes Dake’s victory marked Burroughs passing the torch to him.

The 42-year-old said“You know when you watch the matches, and Jordan had a really difficult time scoring on him. He had a really tough time and he could not break the defences of Dake, and it just seems like Dake has been building to this moment for so long. It did seem like a passing of the torch.”

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Cormier: Cannot count out a champion like Burroughs

Despite Dake’s victory, Cormier believes one cannot discount Burroughs. He believes the 33-year-old is still the favorite in the world championships later this month.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 10: Jordan Ernest Burroughs of the United States celebrates his gold medal in the Men’s Freestyle 74 kg Wrestling on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 10, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

He said, “You don’t count out a champion like Jordan Burroughs. And even if Jordan Burroughs can’t beat Kyle Dake right now, going into the world championships in the fall like, Jordan Burroughs would be our number one guy at 79 kilos, right? 

“He’s such a high level competitor that if he ain’t walking away it’s only for the fact that he has more world titles to win.”

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Dake suffered a quarterfinal defeat in the Tokyo Olympics earlier today to Belarussian wrestler Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov. He will now take part in the repechage rounds to try to grab a bronze medal.

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Sanket Nair

642 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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