Former UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who also held gold at 205 pounds, retired from MMA back in late 2020 but kept himself in the UFC family by transitioning to color commentary alongside fellow mouthpiece Joe Rogan.
Who knows fighting better than an ex-fighter?
But Cormier quickly learned that calling the action is not without consequence, because unlike straight play-by-play from Jon Anik, Cormier is tasked with providing his insight and opinion for the action taking place inside the cage, for better or worse.
“Cormier was incredibly biased,” lightweight bruiser Justin Gaethje said late last year. “I think he knows that he should be in an unbiased mindset when he’s doing this, and I would hope that’s important to him.”
“When it comes to DC, I usually mute it,” former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz told reporters ahead of UFC 269. “From my experience, he doesn’t do the homework. He wants to get in and out, get the job done, make his money.”
“I felt like Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan owe me a little bit of an apology,” bantamweight Cody Stamann said in the wake of UFC 216. “I felt like they were way more biased than they normally would be and I’m really not one to complain about that kind of stuff, but I was like, holy cow. That’s not their job to be that biased.”
Cormier, who once apologized for his bias, is done saying “sorry.”
“You had the guys that cheered and the people that booed and it’s the same thing with commentary,” Cormier explained to MMA Junkie. “I know how hard I work at this. I know how much time I spend preparing for this. I know (what) I try to give these guys and tell their stories and do them justice. Sometimes, people just don’t see what you see and that’s really on them. But I’m not apologizing for doing my job, and I think that’s the beauty in being a fighter.”
Cormier is one of the best fighters of his generation and will join the promotion’s Hall of Fame in July. Like Rogan, “DC” is also a longtime MMA fanboy and sometimes his excitement boils over during the live telecast, which can skew in favor of one fighter over another.
“People can be mad at you, but it’s like we just gotta talk about it, right? I’m not a guy that – they gotta move a little different around me,” Cormier continued. “I don’t really worry about it too much. Rogan told me, I was on some, ‘Ah the fans, this, this’ and then Rogan said it on air. He goes, ‘Oh, you gotta be careful with our bias commentary.’ He just doesn’t care. He just does not care because the reality is it does not matter. You’re put in a position to do a job that is very, very difficult and very few people in the world can do it, so you do it to the best of your ability.”
Cormier returns to the commentary table for UFC 275 this Sat. in Singapore.