DC and Nurmagomedov are teammates at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and DC says that relationship won’t stop him from calling the UFC 254 main event fairly.
“As I move into the second phase of my life, it’s my job,” Cormier said at the UFC 254 media day (via Steven Marrocco of MMA Fighting). “It wasn’t a decision made on a whim. It was a lot of people asking can Daniel do his job, and for me, I’ve called Islam Makhachev fights, I’ve called Deron Winn fights, and I feel like I stayed down the middle as best I could. So I figured I could do it. It’s tough, because Khabib’s been there now for eight years at AKA, and we’ve seen him rise from the very beginning, but I’ve got a job to do, and that’s what I’m going to do Saturday.”
Cormier has called fights involving AKA teammates in the past, but UFC 254 will arguably be the biggest event DC has called in his stint as a color commentator. The retired fighter does admit that there have been past Nurmagomedov fights that he couldn’t have called.
“Certain guys, if he fought, I couldn’t do the job,” he said. “I’m being honest. But I respect Justin so tremendously that I can do the job, because I like Justin so much. It’s hard to do it for someone that you know. To call Khabib and Conor with all the bad blood, I couldn’t have done that, because you’re so solely in your guy’s corner. But Justin’s a good guy.”