Despite being a jovial personality with a mic in his hand, Daniel Cormier was as intense of a competitor as one could get inside the Octagon. Barraging his way through the crowd, Cormier rarely allowed the audience to gauge what grows through his mind. However, back in 2018, Cormier’s teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov gave us a sneak-peek into the former double champ’s pre-fight routine.
Back in January 2018, Cormier was gearing up to go up against Volkan Oezdemir to defend his light heavyweight title. While Oezdemir has a 3-2 record currently in his past five fights, back then the Swiss fighter was riding a five-fight winning streak. Even though he was still an underdog, he still possessed a threat to the reigning champion.
Therefore, DC had to make sure that he put his best foot forward. Cormier had the support of his teammate and future lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, little did Cormier know that ‘The Eagle’ was secretly filming his most intense moment on camera.
Cormier’s pre-fight routine is a fine example of the zone that a fighter has to get into before he makes his way to the Octagon. How they enter that zone varied from one fighter to the other. While some need their coaches or training partners to hype them up, DC does so all by himself.
Cormier would defeat Oezdemir via punches in the second round. He would then go on to capture the heavyweight gold as well in his next outing by knocking out Stipe Miocic. Cormier’s peak coincided with that of Nurmagomedov, with the latter defeating Conor McGregor in the latter part of 2018.
Both the champions, by virtue of training together at the American Kickboxing Academy, have developed a strong bond between them. From joking around in training to making each other better, the two have surely fed off each other’s strengths.
It seems befitting that both Nurmagomedov and Cormier announced their retirement just two months apart. While Cormier couldn’t go out the way he would’ve envisioned, he and Nurmagomedov still make up for one of the best training partners of all time.
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