The UFC has released a video of the best commentator reactions to incredible moments during events that the promotion held in 2020.
As they do each year, the UFC's brilliant commentary team produced some memorable moments from the booth, even in a year that has seen the sport of mixed martial arts change greatly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Initially, it wasn't exactly MMA as we know it when the UFC decided to continue holding live events, especially with the absence of fans due to COVID-19 related restrictions and protocols.
The deafening cheers that the live audience makes when fighters put on a show inside the Octagon is music to the ears of fight fans all across the globe. More than the fans, the fighters themselves also feel even more motivated to push their limits, especially when they hear thousands of fans screaming for them. This year was different, however. When the UFC first announced the decision to hold events without fans, people were skeptical.
When fights started taking place inside empty arenas as MMA tried to adjust to the new normal, fans were treated to a never-seen-before insight into the sport. The crazy energy of the audience was replaced by the spine-chilling sounds of the strikes that the fighters landed on one another.
Even in terms of commentary, 2020 brought a whole new dimension to the sport. Fighters could hear the commentary, and they'd sometimes even react to the comments made by the likes of Daniel Cormier, Joe Rogan, Michael Bisping, Paul Felder, and Jon Anik.
In this article, we look at the best moments from the commentator's booth in 2020.
The best UFC commentator calls, reactions, and quotes of 2020
1) Paul Felder's incredible reaction to Joaquin Buckley's KO of Impa Kasanganay
At UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs. Sandhagen, rising middleweight prospect Joaquin Buckley shocked the world with an incredible spinning back kick knockout of Impa Kasanganay in the second round of their fight. The stunning KO made UFC lightweight and color commentator Paul Felder jump off his seat in awe.
Felder kept saying that it was the craziest knockout he has ever seen in his entire life, and we believe him. The reaction from Felder was a gem and will be remembered for a long time, as will the spinning back kick by Buckley.
2) Ricky Simon's reaction to Daniel Cormier's comments on his physique
At UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira, Ricky Simon took on experienced campaigner Ray Borg in a bantamweight scrap. During the fight, Daniel Cormier, who was doing commentary on the night, spoke about how impressive Simon's physique was.
"He is so big, man!" DC said, and due to the empty arena, Simon heard him immediately. In response, Simon immediately flexed his biceps inside the Octagon, acknowledging DC's comments and leaving the former two-division champion in splits at the commentary booth.
3) Dustin Poirier asking Dan Hooker to "listen to Michael Bisping"
Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker engaged in a five-round war in the headliner of a UFC Fight Night event held back in June 27. During the fight, Hooker was hitting Poirier with a barrage of inside leg kicks and inadvertently ended up catching The Diamond with a kick to the groin. Poirier shook it off immediately and got back in the fight.
A few seconds later however, Hooker caught Poirier on the cup once again. Michael Bisping, who was on commentary noticed the low blow and called it out. He reminded Hooker that it was his second low blow in a matter of seconds and advised him to be more careful.
Poirier heard Bisping's comments and reacted by telling Hooker to "listen to Bisping" during the ongoing scrap.
This is another fun addition to the long list of incredible moments that we wouldn't have seen if the events weren't held behind closed doors.
4) The return of the Mystic Mac
Among the very few events that did take place in the presence of a live crowd this year was the comeback fight of UFC's poster boy Conor McGregor at UFC 246 back in January.
There were a lot of doubts surrounding the former two-division UFC champion's form when he returned after a year-long absence to take on veteran fighter Donald Cerrone at a welterweight bout.
All doubts were immediately put to rest however, when McGregor steamrolled through Cerrone in just 40 seconds, picking up a marvelous TKO win that left commentators Jon Anik and Joe Rogan in complete awe.
Anik was visibly excited by the head kick that McGregor landed flush on Cerrone's temple that led to the fight-ending ground-and-pound sequence. At the end of the fight, the veteran commentator yelled out "Conor McGregor! Too easy. Wow. Less than a minute in, Conor McGregor announces his return!" as the crowd went into a frenzy.
This was one of the very few incredible moments from 2020 that had fans in attendance.
5) When Beneil Dariush's knockout had Daniel Cormier falling on Joe Rogan's lap
This has to be one of the most hilarious moments from the commentary booth not just in 2020, but possibly of all time.
Beneil Dariush took on Drakkar Klose at UFC 248 back in March 7th of this year. UFC 248 was the last pay-per-view in 2020 to be held in the presence of fans.
The fight turned out to be a slugfest, with both men getting into wild exchanges in the center of the Octagon. Klose appeared to have stunned Dariush with a hard shot that rocked the veteran. However, only moments later, Dariush would recover and knock out Klose in spectacular fashion:
Daniel Cormier, Joe Rogan, and Jon Anik had an incredible and somewhat hilarious reaction to the knockout. Rogan shifted back on his chair with his arms spread wide, clearly in awe of what he just witnessed. All he could say was "Oh my God". DC, on the other hand, appeared to fall right into his co-commentator Rogan's lap, leaving the fans amused.Published 23 Dec 2020, 20:25 IST