Daniel Cormier hopes to continue working with WWE after his recent debut as a guest referee at Extreme Rules. He just needs to take care of some business first.
The UFC Hall of Famer recently reflected on the experience on his ESPN show, DC & RC. A longtime fan of professional wresting, Cormier said he relished the chance to play the role of WWE’s version of Herb Dean by being the third man in the cage for the Fight Pit match between UFC veteran Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins, which Riddle ultimately won via tapout. The cameo gave Cormier a newfound respect for the athleticism and abilities of WWE performers, and he said he’s already had preliminaries conversations with WWE on doing more work for the company in the future. If he does though, it’ll be on one condition.
“Let me tell you something, so I came home and my partner at my barbershops, he was at my house and he was like, ‘Damn, you look a lot bigger on TV,’” Cormier said following the event, laughing. “I was like, TV adds a few pounds — and the stripes didn’t help. But that visual is why I’m going to lose weight. That visual is why your boy’s going to lose weight.
“So they were talking to me about doing future things in the WWE and I go, ‘I’ll do things, but I’ve got to get in shape first.’ Like, give your boy some time to get some of this baggage off, this luggage. Let me get rid of some of the checked baggage and then maybe do a couple carry-ons, and then now I’m able to go and do some things in the ring. Let me have a couple carry-ons on the side and not the entire huge suitcase.”
Cormier also joked that the classic black-and-white striped referee outfit he wore for the event made him look like a Foot Locker employee.
A 43-year-old former two-division UFC champion, Cormier hung up his MMA gloves for good in 2020 following back-to-back title losses to Stipe Miocic, transitioning to a full-time broadcast role as one of the UFC’s lead commentators and analysts. But after long flirting with professional wrestling, “DC” said his WWE moment was a different kind of surreal.
“I was in the back and I was nervous, because obviously you know the outcome, I started forgetting the match, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I forgot the end.’ So I kept having to ask questions,” Cormier said with a laugh. “I was so nervous, bro. But once I walked out there, it was so fun. The energy of the crowd is like second to none. I’ve fought in front of bigger crowds than I was in front of last weekend, but ultimately that’s just — it’s a shoot, right? — I’m going to just fight [in MMA], and 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. Then I’ve got fans heckling me, they’re calling me Carl Winslow [from Family Matters] in there, they’re messing with me. Bro, they said, ‘DC, climb up the cage.’ I’m standing at the bottom like, ‘I’m not going up there with these dudes.’ They’re up there actually wrestling on that little ledge, bro. I was like, ‘This is crazy.’ Then when Riddle jumped off the top, I was like, man, I couldn’t believe that I was actually in that moment.”