Daniel Cormier has found his calling. Over the past few years we've seen Cormier moonlight as a commentator during UFC events. He's reached the point where he's one of the best in the world at what he does. A former two-division champion, Cormier's future in broadcasting is secure.
People listen when Cormier speaks about mixed martial arts. While Joe Rogan is and has been excellent as the UFC's lead color guy for years, Cormier is the best to ever do it. Considering his fighting career, it makes sense that he's such a presence on the mic.
Cormier was a tremendous amateur wrestler. He was a two-time junior college national champion and was an All-American at Oklahoma State. Then he made two U.S. Olympic teams as a freestyle wrestler. He took fourth place at the 2004 Olympics, then was forced off the 2008 team after he suffered kidney failure from weight cutting.
After the 2008 Olympic disappointment, Cormier turned to MMA and has had a storied career. He's 22-2 (one no-contest), and at one point held both the UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight titles. His only losses have come against Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic, who are arguably two of the best to ever fight at their respective weight classes.
Cormier likely has one big UFC fight left. The 41-year-old is currently waiting for Miocic to return to action so they can complete their trilogy, but in the meantime he's become one of the better color analysts in all of sports.
He can see things differently than anyone else. He has a Tony Romo-like ability to predict what's going to happen and explain things to viewers. His work on ESPN's Detail: Daniel Cormier has also been fantastic. The guy knows fighting and, more importantly, he knows fighters.
Cormier is also wildly likable. He's funny, has a great personality and people enjoy listening to him call fights. Check out this exchange with fellow commentator Paul Felder from Wednesday night:
It's worth noting, Cormier isn't just a company man who praises everyone. He's not afraid to call people out for their mistakes. He did that Wednesday night when Anthony Smith's corner inexplicably allowed him to keep fighting while he was taking a brutal beating from Glover Teixeira.
Cormier was an occasional analyst for FOX and sat in on a few matches with the main broadcast team before getting a chance to do a full card in 2016. Since then he's been a regular and has only gotten better. He's comfortable in his knowledge, ability and his own skin. That's a great combination.
At UFC 249 and Wednesday's UFC Fight Night 171, Cormier took the next step. He was brilliant during both events. He's now risen to become one of the best color guys in sports.