UFC legend Daniel Cormier wants to take on Jake Paul but with one stipulation: their fight has to be in the cage instead of the boxing ring.
Cormier, who was a broadcaster for UFC 261, was seen getting into a bit of a tiff with Paul during the event. Paul was fresh off a victory over former MMA fighter Ben Askren to move to 3-0 in his professional boxing career.
Cormier explained to ESPN what the whole ordeal was about.
“There are a lot of things that I can handle in my life. One, is like I feel like this guy’s being like that, disrespectful, talking in a way that I don’t feel he would do to my face. I can’t deal with that. So I was sitting at the table and somebody was like, ‘Jake Paul’s here.’ So I look behind me and he’s like making faces at me and waving at me. I’m like, ‘What in the world is happening?’”
The former UFC heavyweight champion said he insisted on taking a break to confront Paul and claimed the YouTube star only stated to talk back once security came around. Cormier admitted he wanted to “grab his face” but if the situation would have escalated he would have gotten in trouble.
Cormier said he doesn’t really want to fight Paul, but will only do it in a mixed martial arts bout.
“This kid wants to fight, OK, I’ll fight him. But it will be a mixed martial arts competition. If he wants to actually fight with me, fight me in mixed martial arts and then I’ll fight him all the way down at 205. I’m living fat and happy and healthy, I’ll go all the way down to 205 to fight this kid in mixed martial arts. If you really want to fight me, like seriously fight me, fight me in mixed martial arts. This is not going to be fun. I’m telling you right now, at 42 years old, bad back and everything, I’m going to torture him and I’m going to hurt him,” Cormier said.
“I don’t want to box him, I don’t want to fight in a limited skill set of rules. If you want to fight me, you really want to fight me, fight me in a mixed martial arts competition. I’ll go all the way back to 205 and I’m going to smash him and I’m going to hurt him and then he can go back to fighting these YouTube kids.”
Cormier, 42, finished his MMA career with a 22-3 record. He last headlined UFC 252 with the end of his trilogy series with Stipe Miocic. He lost via unanimous decision.