UFC light heavyweight champion #DanielCormier may be looking to reassert his status as one of the baddest men on the planet at #UFC210 this weekend, but not that long ago, he was just your average Olympic wrestler-turned-undefeated MMA fighter looking for his big break. You know, just like the rest of us.
Having already gone 4-0 under the Strikeforce banner, Cormier was booked against UFC vet Jeff Monson in a "Reserve" bout for the promotion's upcoming Heavyweight Grand Prix, which was set to feature an absolute murderer's row of MMA legends in Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Fabricio Werdum and Fedor Emelianenko to name a few. After handily defeating Monson in June, Cormier returned to the unknown and waited for the call.
That call would come the following week. Cormier, the most undersized heavyweight in the division, would be stepping in on just five weeks notice to face one of its biggest: Antonio Silva. "Bigfoot". The man who had just defeated Fedor freaking Emelianenko.
The fight wasn't even close.
In an absolutely shocking performance, Cormier dominated Silva from pillar to post, repeatedly outworking the man considered to be the better striker on the feet before finishing him off with a monster uppercut in the closing moments of the fight. It was a fight that would serve as the future champion's coming out party. In a tournament comprised of killers, an Olympian with two years experience and less than 10 total fights, had done the impossible.
The following May, Cormier would put all doubts concerning his ceiling to rest with an equally, if not more impressive performance over Josh Barnett that featured this insane slam among other highlights. And the rest, as they say, is history.