On Saturday, May 9, the UFC made its return for UFC 249 amid the COVID-19 coronavirus. It was the first fight card since March 14, and the UFC stacked it with high profile fights, including two championship bouts.
In the opening fight of the PPV portion of the fight card, heavyweights Greg Hardy and Yorgan de Castro met at the center of the Octagon. During the fight, de Castro landed many vicious leg kicks on Hardy.
At one point during the fight, Hardy started to check the leg kicks, and he credited a certain UFC commentator for that. The fight between Hardy and de Castro went to the judge’s score, and Hardy got the nod with a unanimous 30-27 victory.
During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Hardy gave a shout out to former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion and current color commentator Daniel Cormier for saying that he needed to check the leg kicks thrown by de Castro.
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Fighters Could Hear Daniel Cormier During UFC 249 Because There Was No Audience
Due to the coronavirus, there was no audience for UFC 249. Because of that, the arena was much quieter than normal, and fighters could hear Cormier commentating the fight. Here is a video of Hardy giving Cormier the shout out:
Hardy said, “Thank God for not having the crowd. Shout out to [Daniel Cormier]. I heard him tell me to check and [that] I needed to figure out how to check it. So I started trying to check ’em, and game changer.”
Multiple other fighters said that they could hear Cormier, including former strawweight champion Carla Esparza who fought Michelle Waterson earlier on the card.
With Hardy’s victory, he put himself back into the winning column. He improved his professional mixed martial arts record to 6-2 and one no contest. Hardy improved his UFC record to 3-2 and one no contest.
UFC 249 Was Stacked With Two Championship Fights & Fan Favorites
Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje – Lightweight Interim Championship Bout
Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz – Bantamweight Championship Bout
Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik – Heavyweight Bout
Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar – Featherweight Bout
Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan de Castro – Heavyweight Bout
Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone – Welterweight Bout
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Fabricio Werdum – Heavyweight Bout
Carla Esparza vs. Michelle Waterson – Women’s Strawweight Bout
Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price – Welterweight Bout
Early Preliminary Card
Bryce Mitchell vs. Charles Rosa – Featherweight Bout
Ryan Spann vs. Sam Alvey – Light Heavyweight Bout