The UFC broadcast team might need a little family therapy.
“When it comes to ‘DC,’ I usually mute it,” Cruz said during UFC 269 media day. “I love DC, he’s my friend, but to me, from my experience, he doesn’t do the homework. He wants to get in and out, get the job done, make his money, and I think he cares about us but it’s just different.
“He doesn’t do the preparation from my experience. He might now, I’m hoping he watches some film this time on me so he knows what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, but I’m not gonna hold my breath on that, that’s for sure.”
Hours later, Cormier invited Cruz to shoot an interview for his YouTube channel where he confronted the former UFC bantamweight champion over his comments.
“The things we talk about privately, we aren’t supposed to say in public,” Cormier said to Cruz. “That’s what you just did. That’s our rule. You say so many things privately that I would never say publicly. You and I say things privately that we would never say publicly.”
Cruz countered by saying that he was doing nothing more than offering some constructive criticism of a colleague and saw nothing wrong with the way he addressed it with the journalists at media day.
“I held you accountable,” Cruz said when speaking to Cormier. “Accountability is love, D.C. Accountability is love. It’s love. It’s a generalization.
“I’m not allowed to say what I feel? I’m wrong?”
While Cormier won’t begrudge Cruz from having his own opinion about commentary during broadcasts, he responded to the claim that he doesn’t do adequate research before calling fights.
“Dominick, there’s a different way to prepare for a fight than watching film,” Cormier said. “It’s not singular. I do watch. I watch film every single time. Do I watch fights to the extent that you watch fights? No. I will openly sit here and say I don’t watch fights to the extent that Dominick Cruz watches. I do watch film. Every single time.
“I watch every one of your fights. I’ve called your last fights. I’ve called your last two fights. But before those fights, I watched prior fights. I watch winning fights. I watch losing fights. I watch all the fights.”
Cormier believes Cruz’s issue with preparation really stems from past jabs the former bantamweight champ has made about not studying film. During broadcast, he hasn’t argued with that statement. Instead, he’s just rolled with the punches and continued to do his job.
But Cormier promises a lot of work goes into his preparation – whether Cruz sees it or not.
“You know where this idea comes from? Because when you say stuff like ‘D.C., you don’t watch fights,’ I don’t bother to combat it,” Cormier said. “So then you take it as fact. Because I don’t say, ‘No, I do Dominick.’ Because I really feel no need to really have to tell you why or how I prepare for my fights.
“It’s your interpretation that I don’t watch the fights because I don’t combat when you say, ‘Oh, you don’t watch fights.’ I don’t go, ‘Oh no Dominick, I do watch fights.’ So then you take that as me admitted that I don’t, but the reality is I do.”
Cormier admitted he previously has had a research assistant to help him collect notes before the events he called, but he said that stopped as he started taking a more hands on approach to his commentary.
These days, Cormier said, he does film study on top of other research in order to get ready to call the fights, just like he’ll do on Saturday when Cruz clashes with Pedro Munhoz at UFC 269.
“Can I tell you something right now as a friend? It was wrong of you to say what you said this morning,” Cormier told Cruz. “Because that was not fair of you as a colleague to do that publicly. You should tell me.
“The reality is even if you said D.C’s my brother, you and I brothers, we’re brothers, but even if you say that, they won’t run that. They won’t run that you say that we’re brothers.”
In his initial statement, Cruz may have been critical toward Cormier, but he also added that “he’s like my brother to me.”
Cormier considers Cruz with the same reverence. He just ultimately just didn’t appreciate the way the criticism was made.
“As a colleague, a professional courtesy, you don’t do that to your teammates,” he said. “You don’t go publicly. Those things you don’t say in the public.”