‘I’m looking at this guy like he’s short’: Jake Paul explains Daniel Cormier confrontation at UFC 261

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Simon Samano
·2 min read
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When Jake Paul arrived at UFC 261 on Saturday night, he caught the attention of everyone inside Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. The proof? A “F*ck Jake Paul” chant broke out among 15,000 fans in attendance.

One person whose attention Paul especially caught, though, was that of Daniel Cormier. He made that very clear on the broadcast.

“I swear to God, I just saw Jake Paul. I pointed at him and said, ‘Don’t play with me,’ because I’ll smack him in the face,” Cormier told fellow commentator Joe Rogan on the broadcast. “He’s right there. I’ll slap him. I don’t play those games, Joe.”

What did Cormier do? In between the final prelim ending and before the pay-per-view began, the former UFC dual champion left his cageside position to confront the YouTube star-turned-professional boxer, who was sitting in the front row with Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

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The encounter was captured on video from multiple angles, including MMA Junkie above, which showed UFC security getting involved to deescalate the situation. As for what went down, Paul explained his side in an Instagram video.

“Cormier comes up to me, starts chirping. I’m sitting here enjoying myself with AB,” Paul said. “… This guy goes, ‘Keep my name out your mouth. Keep my name out your mouth.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute, Daniel. You’re putting my name in your mouth first. You put my name in your mouth first. You talked about me on your little commentator podcast with Ariel. So don’t come over here talking about how I talked about you.’ I said, ‘Let’s sign the contract. Let’s run a fight. I’m not scared of you, DC. You’re short.’ I’m looking at this guy like he’s short.

“Everyone’s chanting ‘f*ck Jake Paul.’ They’re feeding into this sh*t. I love it.”

Cormier was among many current or former professional fighters last week to share a strong reaction to Paul’s first-round TKO of Ben Askren in their boxing match on April 17. In response, Paul called Cormier “fat boy,” which led Cormier to say more on his ESPN show “DC & Helwani” the Monday after the Askren fight.

That led to Saturday’s encounter in Jacksonville.