Daniel Cormier on Simone Biles, Gable Steveson and UFC Dagestan


Daniel Cormier on Simone Biles, Gable Steveson and a potential UFC Dagestan.

The MMA world was buzzing when GOAT gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from many of her 2021 Olympic contests due to mental health issues. Fighters like Michael Bisping offered words against her decision, while others supported and understood her choice.

Now, weeks removed from Biles earning a bronze medal, people are still talking about the event. Former Olympian, turned UFC double champion, Daniel Cormier, is no different.

“When that news cycle flipped, I was on to the next thing, right? I was on to the gal that won the day after. I was thinking about, I can’t remember her name, but I was thinking about her, right? So it’s like you just move with the news, and for me, I was like that’s where I’m at with Simone [Biles],” Cormier told FanSided during a sit down interview last week. “But you know who won’t move with the news? Simone Biles. Alright, you show up to the Olympics with a shirt that says “GOAT,” and then you decided you can’t compete? That decision will stay with you much longer than everybody else. But it’s her decision. I can’t judge her.”

Cormier, who understands better than most people, what it’s like to compete in the Olympics.

“You know, I think that the people who judge her is so unfair because very few people have been in a position like Simone when you have a decision like that to even make.”

Though Cormier wants people to go easy on Biles, he doesn’t necessarily think it’s something all Olympians could do.

“I gotta be honest,” he said. “In wrestling, like, you can’t, right? It’s just, you can’t really in wrestling say ‘I’m just…you know.’ We’re always mentally in places as athletes. But ultimately, her decision is hers to make because you know what, when she came home, there was a hero’s welcome for her in that airport. But now as time goes away and more time passes, that decision is hers to deal with.”

Daniel Cormier thinks Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson should do WWE career before MMA

Another hot talking point lately has been thee will-he or won’t-he discussion surround Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson. Cormier is one of the men that Steveson has spoken to and sought advice on the next steps of his career.

“I know Gable [Steveson] personally, right? And I think for his career, the best thing to do would be to go wrestle first,” Cormier said. “Build your name, become a monster name in the WWE and then come over and fight. Because then right away, you’re in the middle of the main card on the pay-per-view. There have been Olympic champions in the UFC before. There has only been one Brock Lesnar. A guy that went and was such a massive star in the WWE that he came over and was immediately headlining pay-per-views and fighting for championships. I think Gable has that ability and that type of career path ahead of him if he chooses to do it.”

Everyone wants to know when Steveson will make his decision and what that will be. Cormier doesn’t seem concerned.

“I think that he’s trying to weigh all of his options, right?” he said. “But I’m certain there’s a good idea that he has in his mind, and I think that he’s a smart guy. And if he is as smart as I think he is, he’d be leaning in that direction [of MMA], right?”

Daniel Cormier on Conor McGregor feud

Daniel Cormier doesn’t play as himself on UFC 4

Directly following the interview, Cormier was sitting down with Brandon Moreno and pro-gamer Hungrybox for Monster Engery’s Twitch live stream of UFC 4. Surprisingly, Cormier wasn’t sure he’d be playing as his own character in the game.

“That’s to be debated because I haven’t decided,” Cormier laughed. “Because I’m not so confident that I’m willing to play with my character. I don’t wanna see me get knocked out. You see me lose enough. I don’t wanna lose on the video game.”

So if not for himself, what fighter would he choose to play as. That’s an easy answer for Cormier.

“I wanna play with Max Holloway because Max Holloway’s guy is like the most demonic character in the game,” he said. “It’s like, I beat Max Holloway with Max Holloway in the game, so, I wanna play with Max Holloway. I want the guy that’s like a 99 in the ratings. I do the game. Like I commentate the game, I do the ratings for the game, so I know that Max Holloway is the best, so I’m gonna play with Max.”

Cormier also says he believes he’s the best to ever play UFC 4 … Even if that’s not verified

“I used to play quite a bit,” he said “I haven’t played for a while, but I was playing some of the fans online, and I realized some of my deficiencies. I beat the guy .. when the game was in development, I went out to Canada to EA Sports and I played against the guys who were developing the game, and I beat the guy. And so I was on cloud nine. And then when I started to play against people, I realized that there are people that are just better than the developers. And I kinda got away from it after that. But I still talk as if I am the best ever. So every time I do a ratings adjustment, I put this record on the bottom of the lower-third that my record is like 150-5. I’m not 100 percent certain that’s true, but I do kinda [think] it’s true in my mind.”

Daniel Cormier doesn’t want there to be a UFC Dagestan

The rise in fighters from Dagestan have been profound. Cormier’s teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov paved the way and since his retirement has brought a plethora of fighters from the Russian republic to the United States to compete.

Since then, fans have voiced their desire to see an event in Dagestan, an idea that Cormier does not share.

“With Khabib gone, I think it’s different,” Cormier said. “I think the closest thing we’ll get is Moscow and also Abu Dhabi, right? They’re big in Abu Dhabi, so I think you’ll see that but that’s about as good as you’ll get in terms of having a competition out in Russia. I wrestled in Dagestan one time. It’s a great place to visit. I don’t know if it’s where you’ll want to hold a UFC. It’s a great fight area. It’s a great wrestling area. But I think for us, as a fan of the Dagestanis, I like the mystery behind it, right? Those guys come out of the mountains and they’re world-beaters. Let’s not go over there and hold an event and just pull the curtain back too much. Let them be like what they are.”