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This paper proposes a medium access control (MAC) algorithm, called Cooperative Diversity MAC (CD-MAC), which exploits the cooperative communication capability to improve robustness in wireless ad hoc networks. In CD-MAC, each terminal proactively selects a relay for cooperation and lets it transmit simultaneously when it is beneficial in mitigating interference from nearby terminals and thus improving the network performance. For practicability, CD-MAC is designed based on the widely adopted IEEE 802.11 MAC. System-level simulation study shows that CD-MAC significantly outperforms the original IEEE 802.11 MAC in terms of packet delivery ratio.