There are plenty of reasons to critique UFC commentator—and former two-division champion—Daniel Cormier’s work in the broadcast booth. For some reason, he seems unable reconcile the fact that a wrestling takedown and an MMA takedown are counted by different standards; he seems to regularly struggle with and contextualize the scoring criteria of the sport he covers; at times he seems more interested in getting a laugh from Joe Rogan than he does in calling the action inside the cage.
All that said, accusations about bias in his commentary seem to born more from his associations outside his work in the booth than the things he says on fight night. Even, as it just so happens, when it comes to the man who was once his fiercest rival, Jon Jones.
In the aftermath of UFC 285, Anik, Rogan, and Cormier sat in the near-empty T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas and gave fans a few last minute thoughts before signing off the evening’s PPV broadcast. For DC, that included a healthy portion of musings on the action that just wrapped up between Jones and former interim champion Cyrial Gane.
“Jon Jones is the heavyweight champion of the world in a way that not many expected,” Cormier began. “All week Jon Jones spoke about how easy this fight could be and nobody wanted to believe it. I know I didn’t. I thought he was in for it. To the point that, at the fighter meeting, when Jon Jones was on the phone, I said, ‘Hey, I got one question for you. Just speaking about fear, you said you needed that. Does Ciryl Gane present that fear?’
“He had an answer that was still almost dismissive of Ciryl Gane and I didn’t understand it. I figured he was chasing challenges to elevate himself to the next level. Well, he goes out there and dominates in a way that tells me that everything he said he believed from the very start and he just did it.”
“Jones doesn’t look like the same guy in the octagon,” Cormier added. “He’s a tad bit slower, his movements aren’t as quick and dynamic, but that’s what you expect for a guy that puts on that much weight. But when he went out there he seemed to be having a good time.”
“Hats off to Jon Jones for doing something he said he was going to do by winning the fight. Not only winning the fight, winning the fight impressively.”
It shouldn’t need to be said that there’s nothing controversial in those comments—nothing at all. But, that didn’t stop a few sites from taking liberties in how they framed Cormier’s words about his former foe.
Read the rest of the post on the Bloody Elbow Substack, where we detail the UFC’s earnings and debt, along with Endeavor’s own projections as they name two possible risks to their lucrative MMA business.
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