Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Daniel Cormier was 7-0 before he watched tape of an opponent. He was two years into his MMA career, training for Jeff Monson, in a Strikeforce heavyweight GP reserve bout.

DC realized he didn't want to engage the 2X ADCC world champ on the mat for an extended period of time. Wrestling is the most dominant art in mixed martial arts because it allows the adept to keep the fight anywhere - against the fence, on the mat, or not on the mat. DC kept it standing, and won a unaimous decision.

Cormier watched tape since, and prior to his champ champ fight vs. Stipe Miocic, he noticed something, and even talked about it in interviews.

"I said, 'Stipe does this thing when he exits the clinch that will cost him,'" explained Cormier to Marc Raimondi for ESPN. "He tends to hang his chin up in the air and he tends to circle his hands down low. And he does it over and over again. I go, 'If he does that, I'll catch him and I'll knock him out.' And it happened, because he did it over and over again."

"Film work is very vital and I think everybody should adopt this. All the best fighters in the world go over film. They may not go over it endlessly. I'll watch fights at the beginning on someone and then my coaches take it from there. And if there's something else they see, they'll call me in and we'll go over that thing, too. After I've done the early film work, I start to see them implementing the game plan in the training room. I'll see something on the film, then Jav will see something and Rosendo will see something and Bob will see something. Then, in my preparation, I start seeing them start to put that into it. If there's something that they think I can exploit, they'll start to make me do it in my training sessions."

Cormier now takes the knowledge he has developed to ESPN's Detail. What Kobe Bryant does for the NBA and Peyton Manning for the NFL, Cormier now does for the UFC. He's taped five episodes to date; the first breakdown is on Amanda Nunes ahead of her title defense vs. Holly Holm at UFC 239 on Saturday, and streamed on ESPN+ on July 1.

"I truly do believe, though, that as much as I would love all the fans to watch the show and have them get a better understanding of the sport ... this is for the guy that someday wants to become a Daniel Cormier, an Anderson Silva, a Jon Jones, a Dominick Cruz, a Henry Cejudo, a Max Holloway," he said.