UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is a nightmare to fight. He has beaten Bigfoot, Big Country, and Josh Barnett, Hendo, Mir AJ, and Gus, and even the UFC G.O.A.T. Anderson Silva. But in his youth, he was bullied.
During an appearance on ESPN’s Highly Questionable with Dan Le Batard, Gonzalo Le Batard, and Bomani Jones, DC was asked if he was bullied as a kid.
“All the time,” said Cormier. “This was a guy named Gilbert Francis. I’ll never forget his name. You know, he was only about four and a half feet tall, but at ten years old, that was a lot. He’s still four and a half feet tall today.
“So about two, three years ago I went home and he saw my brother. He says, ‘Give Daniel my phone number.’ Gilbert calls me and is like, ‘Are you at your mom’s house?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘You better stay there, because I’m coming over there. Because if you leave, you know what’s going to happen.’ I’m like, ‘Hey guy, it’s not 1985 any more, you cannot bully me.’ I go, ‘You know I fight for a living?’ He’s like, ‘Just stay at your mom’s house.’
“I should have stayed and just beat his butt whenever he got there. But I let it pass. … I actually left, so in reality, he still bullies me. But me leaving was kind of me stepping away from him controlling my life anymore. This guy controlled me from second grade to fourth grade, he literally just controlled my life.”
“I think deep down inside of me, the seven-year-old was like, ‘You need to get out of here before Gilbert gets here. Because if he shows up, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble.’ So I left. Now that I’m thinking about it, I should have stayed there. … At some point I have to stand up to this guy.
“I did though. I did when I was like eleven. Because I learned to wrestle! And he came to bully me on one bad afternoon, and I took him down and put him in a Half Nelson. He was squirming around on his belly – couldn’t get off of his stomach.
“He stopped bullying me for a while after that. … I never punched him. I think I needed to punch him. Instead of holding him down, I should have given him a little Ground and Pound. But we didn’t know much about that back in the day.
“He still tries to bully me. He’ll never learn. Dude is still like four foot five though.”