Cormier Talks O’Connor’s Grittiest Performance | UFC FIGHT PASS

Universally feared walking into his first match and universally respected walking off after his final match, O’Connor had many options on the table but Cormier finally got a call he had been waiting for since watching him battle through a devastating injury in his junior year. In addition to coaching, O’Connor wanted to fight. Cormier pounced, and in true DC fashion, he wasn’t going to be outdone.

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“I reached out to him and he came out to Las Vegas because we weren’t the only management team trying to get [O’Connor],” Cormier said. “I was tasked with the recruitment of Austin. Listen to this, Austin comes to Vegas and I take him to an APEX show. At the time, it was hard to get into the APEX shows. I’m swinging big stick a little bit. We take him to the APEX, he watches the fights, then I take him over to the Palms and he watches Lomachenko. We had backdoor access and all of this cool stuff, so this guy is getting the real deal. One of the producers of the UFC goes with Austin afterwards and hangs out with him a little bit, plays cards because I’m tired and I worked all day. Next thing you know, Austin signs with us.”

Already in the infancy of his MMA career, O’Connor goes to lengths only true fighters are willing to go to, to be great. Instead of using his NCAA accomplishments to manipulate promoters into giving him favorable matchups, O’Connor is doing what nobody wants to do to sharpen his tools: coming down off his pedestal and starting from the bottom.

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