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How Daniel Cormier balances fighters’ fragile feelings with the need to call it as he sees it


LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 2: Former UFC Champion Daniel Cormier during UFC 276 on July 02, 2022, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former UFC double champion Daniel Cormier started running as a UFC analyst in 2016. (Picture through Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures)

Towards the top in their run on ESPN’s “DC & RC” display, Daniel Cormier heard his co-host say one thing that blew his thoughts, best possibly now not the way you’d assume.

This was once only a couple months in the past, within the aftermath of UFC 297 the place Raquel Pennington received a lackluster determination victory over Mayra Bueno Silva to assert the vacant UFC ladies’s bantamweight identify.

“Ryan (Clark), he said something about how, if that’s the best we can do then we should just cancel the whole division,” Cormier informed Yahoo Sports activities. “I told him, ‘dude, you can just say anything.’ You know what I mean? I always told him he had the best job. He could just say anything he wants and never have to talk to these people.”

What Cormier was once getting at there, if you happen to couldn’t inform, is that he does now not revel in this luxurious. Now not even alike. The previous two-division UFC champ has discovered a accumulation of good fortune and private success in his post-retirement occupation as a UFC commentator and normal on-air skill for ESPN, nevertheless it’s now not with out its drawbacks.

As an example, if Cormier had mentioned that about Pennington and Bueno Silva? He already is aware of what would occur. He’d have to look the ones warring parties once more quickly. He’d have to look their coaches and their teammates too. He’d pay attention about it from each side. MMA may well be an international recreation, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a mini international.

“No one is more sensitive to critiques than fighters,” Cormier mentioned. “All of them, they hate it. And I get it, because I know what it’s like.”

This places Cormier in some uncomfortable positions from date to date. On one hand, he has a role to do. Because the ex-fighter commentator on UFC pronounces, he’s intended to be there not to best handover technical experience, but additionally to trade in frank, fair reviews concerning the performances he’s visual. One of the vital causes to provide that activity to a former fighter is since the target market (no less than the portion of it that began looking at this recreation previous to his leaving in 2020) is aware of he’s lived it. He’s been at the alternative aspect of that chain-link cage, so he’s earned the precise to trade in up evaluations of the ones in there doing it.

There’s the added undeniable fact that, to deliver to stick afloat within the ecosystem of media takes, you need to be prepared to mention one thing public may negative with from date to date. A commentator who by no means ft the sequence of controversy dangers dull his target market. If he has to err on one aspect, it could most probably be higher for his occupation to be too inflammatory in lieu than too sort.

However later, Cormier additionally comes off as a large teddy endure. He’s at all times smiling and joking. He’s an affable man, just like the gymnasium professor who’d dole out some tender ribbing however was once nonetheless a softie inside of.

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - JUNE 12: Jiri Prochazka of Czech Republic is interviewed by Daniel Cormier after his victory over Glover Teixeira of Brazil in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 275 event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 12, 2022 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - JUNE 12: Jiri Prochazka of Czech Republic is interviewed by Daniel Cormier after his victory over Glover Teixeira of Brazil in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 275 event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 12, 2022 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Daniel Cormier interviews Jiri Prochazka later his victory over Glover Teixeira for the shiny heavyweight identify on June 12, 2022 in Singapore. (Picture through Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

It’s simply that on occasion public see the good man within the recreation coat on TV disregard that he were given there through first being the type of man who would punch you on your face and let fall you in your head for cash.

“I used to fight a little bit,” Cormier mentioned. “I don’t know sometimes if some of them remember that. I used to be pretty good at it.”

As an example, snatch what came about with Nate Diaz just lately. With a UFC pay-per-view occasion deliberate for The Sphere in Las Vegas q4, Diaz had introduced to battle in the primary occasion. Cormier, as a part of his apparently ever-expanding on-camera paintings, mentioned he didn’t see Diaz as primary event-worthy for an occasion like that at this level in his occupation.

Diaz didn’t like that. He registered his disapproval through posting a picture of Cormier taking a look distraught within the cage later a loss with the message: “This b**** is not a fighter. Complete opposite. Good talk DC.”

And day he’s most commonly gotten higher at letting fighter overreactions fall away his again, that one didn’t sit down smartly with Cormier.

“I’m a lot of things, guys, but one thing I’m not is nobody’s b****,” Cormier mentioned in keeping with Diaz. “I’m not a b****. So my question is this: When did it become OK for men to start calling each other outside their name like that? When did that become OK? I don’t disrespect nobody in my assessment of them. I try my best to be as fair as I can. I don’t quite understand why people think it’s OK to attack you in that way, especially calling you outside your name like that. It’s not cool, man. You don’t get to just talk to people any way you want.”

However in the case of Cormier, a accumulation of warring parties do appear to assume they are able to say the rest they would like. A part of it, most likely, is that he turns out too gregarious and likewise too skilled to provide them again the similar scorched earth remedy they offer him. He’s a desk bound goal, in a way. Warring parties don’t face {many professional} aftereffects for berating their coworkers. Infrequently it feels love it’s even a part of their activity description.

However a commentator who solutions to each the UFC and ESPN? He’s anticipated to abide through some sense of decorum. So say no matter you need to the retired model of Cormier. He’s now not allowed to punch you for it and he’s anticipated to be no less than rather diplomatic in his reaction.

“I wouldn’t say it bothers me to the point where I get sad about it or anything,” Cormier mentioned. “I just don’t quite get it. I’m only doing my job, and if I’m talking about you, that’s helping you. … I understand how it is for fighters, because whether they want to admit or not, they want to be appreciated. But not everyone is always going to like what you do, and that’s fine.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 03: Former UFC two-division champion Daniel Cormier is seen on stage during the UFC 30th Anniversary Q&A session at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 03: Former UFC two-division champion Daniel Cormier is seen on stage during the UFC 30th Anniversary Q&A session at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Daniel Cormier is discoverable on level all over the UFC thirtieth Yearly Q&A consultation at MGM Brilliant Grassland Enviornment on March 3, 2023 in Las Vegas. (Picture through Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC by way of Getty Pictures)

Nonetheless, Cormier is aware of how excellent he has it total. At 44, he’s discovered a approach to be a a success retiree from one occupation day nonetheless rising in some other. He took up golfing for the primary date a time later calling quits on his combating occupation. (“It just seemed like something a retired dude would do, and then I fell in love with it,” he mentioned.) Only some years upcoming he now has a sponsorship do business in with golfing attire corporate AndersonOrd, with a business that includes him deliberate to run all over this pace’s Masters match.

He’s additionally energetic on his YouTube channel with over 300,00 subscribers, and he just lately introduced a unutilized podcast known as “Good Guy/Bad Guy” with fellow retired fighter Chael Sonnen. (Cormier, one assumes, is meant to be the great man.)

The most efficient section, apart from the stable ongoing paychecks, may well be that Cormier has discovered a approach to nonetheless be concerned with MMA with no need to store getting strike within the head. It’s a feat few warring parties accomplish, and it assists in keeping him going in additional tactics than one.

“I think so many fighters struggle with retirement because once they’re done, it’s just over,” Cormier mentioned. “They disappear from the public eye, and they’re just gone. And then you go from living this life where things were so big and so good, to now you’re just kind of forgotten. We still get to be a part of the show. I still get to walk to the Octagon on fight night with people calling my name. Honestly, I think that allows me to not feel like I need to run back in there. So many fighters go back because they have nothing else. They want to feel a part of that again. I still get to be a part of the show, and not everybody gets that. I’m a lucky, man. I know that.”

So the occasional slings and arrows that include the activity? Possibly it’s now not so malicious. Although, on age, he does nonetheless get the urge to remind somebody why the MMA international first discovered the identify Daniel Cormier — and it wasn’t for his congeniality unloved.



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