Daniel Cormier — one of the most successful amateur wrestlers to make a name for himself in mixed martial arts — appears to have had enough with the carping about the Invasion of the Matmen in MMA.
The two-time member of the U.S. Olympic freestyle team — and NCAA All-American at Oklahoma State — told the media Tuesday that MMA combatants who don’t have wrestling backgrounds should stop complaining about their inabiltiy to thwart takedowns, and do something about it.
“It’s not my job, it’s not Jon Fitch‘s job, it’s not Josh Barnett‘s job to actually teach someone takedown defense,” Cormier said Tuesday during a media call. “It’s their job to learn takedown defense. If they can’t defend the takedown, then they deserve to lay on their back for 15 minutes.”
As Matt Erickson of MMAFighting.com points out in his analysis Tuesday, Cormier has added skills beyond wrestling to craft a perfect 8-0 record in MMA. According to Erickson, the former Cowboy matman was able to score only two takedowns during his June bout with Jeff Munson… yet managed to throw 110 punches to Munson’s 19. (Munson wrestled for Oregon State.)
Cormier will get to put his entire skill set to work in the semifinals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix on Sept. 10 in Cincinnati, when he will face Antonio Silva, who is 16-2 in MMA.
“I think it’s always good to put on exciting fights,” Cormier said. “I like to fight. This is my job. If that means I have to stand with him and fight, then I have to fight. What if I can’t take him down? But at the end of the day, it’s about winning.”
As an amateur wrestler, Cormier was a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) wrestling champ for Colby Community College in Kansas. He then transferred to Oklahoma State, where he was a finalist at the 2001 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, losing to Iowa State’s Cael Sanderson in the 184-pound title match. As a freestyle wrestler, Cormier placed fourth in the 2004 Athens Olympics. He was named captain of the U.S. squad for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but was unable to compete because of a medical emergency.
Want to know more? Read Matt Erickson’s profile of Daniel Cormier at MMAFighting.com.
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