Daniel Cormier

How UFC, Daniel Cormier showed sports world important lesson right now


How UFC, Daniel Cormier showed sports world important lesson right now

The UFC once again continued on during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with UFC 249 on Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla. In an empty arena, an unexpected conundrum took place.

UFC commentators sit ringside and have their eyes and ears on the action. This brings great reactions and smart analysis. But Saturday night, it also made for extra coaching. 

Carla Esparza and Greg Hardy both admitted to hearing former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier's commentary and using it to their advantage. 

"Thank god for not having the crowd," Hardy said. "Shout out to DC, I heard him tell me to go out and check it and I need to figure out how to check it. So I started trying to check him and ... game changer."

As the rest of the sports world waits to return, they can learn valuable lessons from this. There's no doubt games will be played without fans in attendance, so what does a sport like basketball do with announcers sitting courtside? Mark Jackson might unintentionally become a coach again without even trying. 

Imagine if an announcer is critiquing a player's defense or is pointing out how a team's offense can exploit a hole in the opposition's defense. In these odd circumstances, this might be the time for leagues to allow arenas/stadiums to pump up fake crowd noise. That wouldn't come without controversy, though. 

Of course, teams would pump up more noise when the other team has the ball, or if the other team is at bat in the case of baseball, too. Without fans in the stands, home-field advantage somewhat is out the door. This could be a way to bring that back and bring more of a sense of normalcy for players, as long as there are restrictions on when teams are allowed to play doctored fan noise and music. 

[RELATED: Hardy's continued UFC presence should offend, insult us all]

Cormier couldn't avoid being heard. He was doing his job and needs to give the proper analysis. This won't be a problem in football, and likely not in baseball, but that could change when broadcast booth windows are opened on a warm day or if announcers are moved to the stands to maintain social distancing. 

The Korean Baseball Organization is using cardboard cutouts of fans at games right now to make the viewing experience from home a bit more normal. Perhaps American sports will do something of that sort when they resume as well. 

Sports have fans. They have noise, music, food vendors and announcers alike. There will be ways to make games feel somewhat more "normal." 

Pump up crowd noise. Play music. Have a recording of a food vendor yelling "Hot dogs!" and "Beer, $16!" There was plenty to learn from a bloody night in Florida. 

And Cormier doing his job was a lesson that can't be overlooked.

Daniel Cormier hopes to lift up Gilroy community with win at UFC 241

Daniel Cormier hopes to lift up Gilroy community with win at UFC 241

When Daniel Cormier enters the Octagon on Saturday to face Stipe Miocic in their much-anticipated rematch at UFC 241, he'll be fighting for more than just his chance to retain the heavyweight belt.

Cormier, who trains at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, also is the wrestling coach at Gilroy High School. Tragedy recently hit the Gilroy community when a gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28, killing four people and wounding 13 others.

So Cormier not only will be fighting for the belt Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, but also to represent his community.

"With my attachment to the community, and being the guy that's probably -- you know I talk about all the fighters from the city, but I'm the guy at the forefront as the champion," Cormier told NBC Sports Bay Area. "The opportunity to represent the community on such a massive stage is a huge honor for me. It hasn't been long since the shooting happened, and to be in such a big spot and to carry the flag of the town of Gilroy means a ton to me. 

"People will be watching. They will be rooting and cheering. I know that on Saturday, I'm going to show and prove how strong people from Gilroy are and make them proud."

[RELATED: Cormier offers advice to McGregor after bar punch video]

Cormier defeated Miocic via first-round knockout at UFC 226 last July,

He hopes to lift a belt and a community Saturday with another victory over Miocic on Saturday.

Daniel Cormier can finally feel like a champion again


Daniel Cormier can finally feel like a champion again

Daniel Cormier was awarded the UFC light heavyweight championship Saturday night at UFC 220 after his loss to Jon Jones was overturned when Jones failed a prefight drug test. Cormier said leading up to the fight that he didn’t feel like a champion. He probably feels like one now.

The San Jose-based 205-pounder defeated No. 2-ranked Volkan Oezdemir by secon-round TKO to retain the title.

“I felt as if I was fighting for a vacant title because (Jones) beat me last time,” Cormier (20-1) said in a postfight interview referring to his loss last July.

“I fought for a vacant title and I got the job done so I’m the UFC champion again.”

Cormier, who turns 40 in March, nearly won the fight a round earlier. In the final minute of the first frame, Cormier landed a right hand flush on the challenger’s face. After securing a takedown and taking Oezdemir’s back, Cormier locked in a rear naked choke but was forced to relinquish the hold when the bell rang.

Oezdemir, 28, was given a second chance, but he couldn’t capitalize. Cormier dominated the second round from the beginning. The AKA-product once again took down Oezdemir, transitioned to a crucifix, and landed a barrage of shots until the referee called the fight at the 2:00 mark.

“He was so game. I knew he was a dangerous guy. He hit hard,” Cormier said of Oezdemir (15-2). “But once I was able to get him to the ground, I knew it was my world.”

And for now, the rest of the light heavyweight division is just living in it.