In a recent interview, Daniel Cormier opened up about facing resistance from former teammates due to his perceived criticism of their performances. Former UFC heavyweight contender Blagoy Ivanov was one in particular who criticised Cormier for his commentary.
Cormier continued by describing their conversation: “I’ve noticed, and my friends have noticed, that as much as people say you’re going to be biased towards a person that you care about, I tend to go the other direction, which is unfair to my guys actually. But, they understand I try to call the fight as best I can.”
Contrary to the expectation of bias in favor of friends, Cormier claims he tends to lean towards a more critical stance. He admitted that his friends had experienced this firsthand, with Ivanov being a notable example.
“If a guy deserves praise, I give it to them. They had a real bad case of this with Blagoy (Ivanov). Blagoy was fighting and he texted me on Monday, he goes ‘DC, did I not land anything?’. I was like yes you did and I gave you credit for it.”
Cormier acknowledged the challenge of maintaining objectivity when analyzing the bouts of those close to him.
He continued: “He goes, ‘it just seemed like you were so intent on what was happening to me’. I said Blagoy, I said we weren’t winning, but I had to check myself because part of the reason I was doing that was because I was listening to the voices (telling me I’m biased towards my friends) when the reality, those voices, it is a select few.”
The UFC analyst concluded by saying that he makes every effort to avoid prejudice among combatants.
He said: “The select few is always louder than the majority so you have to forget about what the select few is doing and just do your job but it’s nerve-wracking because you just want to see those guys (you know) do well.”
This comes on the wings of a number of controversies involving Cormier. Previously he’s had to bow out of commentating Makhachev’s title match because of their longtime close relationship.