Daniel Cormier is entering the world of professional wrestling, although he won’t be the one jumping off the top rope.
Instead, the UFC Hall of Famer and lifelong pro wrestling fan will serve as the special guest referee in a ‘Fight Pit’ match between ex-UFC fighter Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins at the upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view scheduled for Oct. 8 in Philadelphia.
WWE officials confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Saturday following an initial post on Twitter by Ariel Helwani.
“I will be fair,” Cormier said on Instagram about his new refereeing gig. “I’ll be honest. I’ll be impartial. And I will not take anyone’s s***. I will be there for a reason. The law has been called in, and I will enforce it with every part of myself to the fullest extent.”
Long before he was a two-division UFC champion, Cormier grew up as a fan of pro wrestling, often idolizing many of the performers while starting his own athletic career. Cormier then became one of the best freestyle wrestlers in the world with two appearances in the Olympic games and that eventually led him to MMA.
After his UFC career came to a close, Cormier was actually in talks with WWE about a potential on-air commentary role. He ultimately chose to stay full-time with the UFC where he serves as one of the lead color commentators on many of the biggest broadcasts, including pay-per-views where he typically calls fights alongside Jon Anik and Joe Rogan.
Now he’ll get to step into the ‘Fight Pit’, a special rules match where the ring ropes are removed and replaced with a steel cage along with a catwalk along the top. The match can only end via submission or if one participant can no longer get to their feet.
The matchup involves Riddle and Rollins, who have been engaged in a bitter on-air storylines for several months including one interview that actually paid homage to an infamous moment involving Cormier and longtime rival Jon Jones ahead of their first meeting in the UFC in 2015.
Prior to his career in WWE, Riddle was a mainstay in the UFC, compiling a 7-3 (2 NC) record with the promotion after previously appearing on The Ultimate Fighter. It was after his release from the UFC due to multiple failed drug tests for marijuana that Riddle turned his attention to pro wrestling where he’s become one of the biggest names in the industry.
Cormier’s job will be to keep the peace in the match as Riddle seeks to finish his rivalry with Rollins in a featured bout on the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, which also features former UFC champion Ronda Rousey in the main event.