Even with the drama of the past week between the promotion and one of its biggest stars still fresh in his mind, Daniel Cormier had his reservations about attending Wednesday’s UFC 200 press conference in New York.
After all, Cormier was supposed to attend his son’s spring performance at school that very same day. And initially, the light heavyweight champion wasn’t supposed to headline UFC 200 anyway. That was Conor McGregor’s job before he balked under the considerable weight of his promotional duties.
Fortunately for all parties involved, there was a compromise. There would be no more press conference drama, no more fight card shuffling. When Dana White hit the podium in New York, Cormier was seated next him on the dais, suited up and ready to go. And he didn’t have to miss his son’s recital to continue to his war of words with Jon Jones.
“When they called me about this on Monday I told [UFC Director of Public Relations] Dave Sholler I can’t go. I said my son has his spring performance at school on Wednesday and I can’t miss it,” Cormier said. “Any time you deny the UFC something, the PR department, then Dana starts to call. So when Dana started to call, initially I was hesitant to answer because I knew what he was calling for. I said, ‘I can’t miss my son’s performance.’
“We work for a great company. They actually sent a camera crew out to my kid’s school, and they streamed it to my phone this morning. I got to watch my boy sing and he had a solo performance so it was good. I appreciate all the UFC does.”
Now, Cormier will face Jones in a light heavyweight title rematch at UFC 200 on July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Meanwhile McGregor, who previously said he was willing to attend the New York event if he could skip some other promotional duties, will have to find a spot on a future UFC card.
Part of Cormier can relate to McGregor because he understands how tedious the media grind can be. The other part of him knows it comes with the territory, which is why he watched his son’s performance from across the country instead of in person.
“Obviously we know it’s part of the job. We make a lot of money to do this. When they tell you to go do your obligations, you do them. Sometimes you don’t want to do it,” Cormier said. “In Conor’s situation honestly he does a lot more than all of us combined. He does more media than we do. In that sense I can feel for him a little bit, but this is the big show. This is the one where you’ve got to put everything aside and just go and do what you’re supposed to do. I know he lost. I know he needs to train. And I do sympathize with him, but this is the big show and it’s part of the job.”