It’s as cliché as it gets, but it’s true. That’s why Max Holloway calls Cormier “the most daddy man on the planet”. He’s a dad who obviously is a good man who happens to be a great fighter.
If you know anyone (other than Jon Jones) who actually hate DC? I would love to hear it.
As UFC 252 and its heavyweight title trilogy with Stipe Miocic draw near, there is a lot of thinking about Cormier and how, at 41, he reached this point. One of the best anecdotes of this week came from Shaheen Al-Shatti of Athletic who got this gem from former Olympic gold medal wrestler Cael Sanderson which highlights the kind of person that DC is:
“For him, putting himself in a position where so many people have access to him says a lot about him, doesn’t it?” I remember before the 2004 Olympics we were directly behind the basketball team. The men’s basketball team (US). And because of security at the time, it took several hours to go through security. Were waiting. And we were right behind them. And I remember Cormier, he came up and asked (an ultra-famous NBA player) for his autograph. And (the ultra-famous NBA player) wouldn’t even recognize him. I wouldn’t watch it.
“I just remember this image of Cormier. He asked this guy to sign something for him – and the guy didn’t even recognize him.
“I just thought it was really disrespectful. But I just think it shows you what kind of a person Daniel is. Now Daniel is a guy that everyone in the gym wants their autograph – and he still walks around freely. When he talks to someone, he looks them in the eye. He shows them respect. Even if it must be exhausting for him and just a huge waste of energy. Because yeah, it’s one thing to go out there and wrestle and train kids. This is not the difficult and impressive part. It is because of this fame that he has to face this.
Cormier never forgot that moment, and it seems to have played a part in how he would end up handling his fame. Cormier was asked about this memory during an interview with TSN’s Aaron Bronstetter and gave an answer that sums up the class with which DC has always behaved.
“It was bad, right? It was a disappointment, ”Cormier said of the autograph of the NBA star, whom he declined to name. “I’ve tried to make sure that no matter what I’m feeling, I try to give people a little piece of me, to make meeting them a pleasant experience. Because you don’t know what it does for a person and you don’t know who that person will end up being.
“What if you meet the kid who will one day become the president?” You do not know. What if you meet a kid who is just having a bad day or an adult who is having a really bad day and your interaction can uplift them? You never know what people are going through. So I just try to make sure that when people come in contact with me it’s a good experience.
I wonder if this ultra-famous NBA player remembers when he snubbed a future UFC champion and what he thinks about it now.
UFC 252 takes place on Saturday at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card is shown on pay-per-view after preliminaries on ESPN / ESPN +.
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