Former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza defeated Michelle Waterson at the event and she credits Cormier’s commentary for assisting with the victory.
“It’s crazy because he’s criticizing me and part of me was, like, ‘Hey, that’s messed up. Why are you saying that?’” Esparza said after the event (via Milan Ordonez of Bloody Elbow). “Then I was, like, ‘That’s actually a good idea.’ He was, like, ‘she’s just striking or she’s just going for takedowns, she needs to mix it up.’ I tried to make some adjustments in there and it’s crazy. We’re definitely able to really hear them in there.”
“Thank God for not having the crowd,” Hardy said in a post-fight interview. “Shout out to ‘DC,’ I heard him tell me to figure out to check (the kicks). So I started trying to check them. Game-changer.”
Cormier would get word of Esparza and Hardy crediting him for their wins and would say the following after the event.
“Our producer in the back telling me Carla Esparza’s giving me credit for making adjustments,” Cormier said. “Greg Hardy says it in the middle of the Octagon. We’ve got to do something about that. If we’re gonna do it like this, we’ve got to find a way to not coach these guys. My mind is a cheat code,” he said with a laugh. “So you’ve got to be careful with giving it away. Fighting as a short person, I’m the king of! I’m 5’9”!”
A lot more fighters could inadvertently be helped by the commentary team for the time being, as all future UFC events are empty arena shows until coronavirus restrictions are lifted.