Daniel Cormier, a former heavyweight champion of the UFC, appeared in his first professional wrestling event last weekend, and it appears that he might be open to a high-profile contest inside the squared circle in the future.
UFC commentator and former two-division champion Daniel Cormier at the exclusive live WWE Extreme Rules event on Saturday made an appearance as the special guest referee for the Fight Pit contest between Seth Rollins and Matt Riddle. At one point during the fight, he even got physical with Rollins, and he's up for more.
In an interview with ESPN MMA, Cormier referred to his experience at Extreme Rules as "the time of my life." The UFC Hall of Famer stated that he was more apprehensive about wearing the stripes than he had ever been about entering the ring for one of his own battles.
“I started forgetting the match,” Cormier said. “I was, like, ‘Oh my goodness I forgot the end.’ So, I kept having to ask questions. I was so nervous, but once I walked out there, it was so fun.
“The energy of the crowd is like second to none. I fought in front of bigger crowds than I was in front of last weekend but ultimately that’s — it’s a shoot, right? — I’m going to just fight, it is going to be what it is going to be. But to remember all the points of what you’re supposed to do in the match, dude, it was amazing.”
Cormier also discussed how watching WWE wrestlers up close increased his admiration for their athleticism. "The things that they do at their size, it's crazy," he said, mentioning Drew McIntyre and Karrion Kross, who participated in a Strap match earlier in the program. Now the issue is, would Cormier be willing to give those things a shot himself? Even though, Cormier would be ideal for additional WWE work. He is a genuine fighter and entertaining.
The 43-year-old expressed interest in participating in a wrestling match to Associated Press reporter Dan Gelston. Before feeling ready to enter the ring, Cormier stated that he would need some time.
"I’ve been retired for a couple of years, and I look like it. But I’d have to get in shape if I ever want to do something like that," Cormier said. "The door is not closed on anything right now in my life."
Cormier didn’t mention Lesnar by name, but popular speculation is that he might eventually face Brock Lesnar in a WWE matchup after the two men hyped a UFC battle in 2018 but it never occurred. At UFC 226 in July 2018, Cormier and Lesnar had a memorable encounter after Cormier won the main event against Stipe Miocic to become a double champion and the first person to simultaneously hold the UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight crowns. During his post-fight interview, Cormier summoned former UFC heavyweight champion, Lesnar, inside the Octagon, where they engaged in a brief push-and-pull exchange.
Since Cormier has always been a fan of wrestling, entering the ring would be a dream come true for him. After Extreme Rules, he has no further WWE commitments. The UFC analyst said there is a narrow window for him to physically compete, though he is open to more.
“They were talking to me about doing future things in the WWE and I go, ‘I’ll do things, but I got to get in shape first,’” Cormier said. “Like, give your boy some time to get some of this baggage of this luggage.”