Jake Paul can’t help but drum up controversy wherever he goes. The YouTube personality turned professional boxer popped up at UFC 261 and found himself in a heated exchange with former champ-champ Daniel Cormier.
It’s no secret that Paul is making a name for himself, winning boxing matches inside the ring and stirring beef with MMA fighters outside of it. After his TKO of former UFC fighter Ben Askren, Paul was less than pleased with some of the feedback from the world of MMA. Never one to back down, Paul has called out several MMA fighters, both active and retired.
In the lead-up to UFC 261, Cormier criticized Paul. He took umbrage with how Paul and his team interacted with former UFC champion Tyron Woodley backstage at Trillers’ latest pay-per-view event, headlined by the Askren fight. Paul challenged Cormier to a contest based on his comments, which DC quickly rejected. The war of words has continued with Cormier speaking on his podcast and both men exchanging insults on Twitter.
Fast forward to UFC 261. During the Brown-Olivera fight, Joe Rogan shares on the broadcast that the crowd is chanting “F*ck Jake Paul.” Cormier responds, “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. He’s right there. I’ll slap him. I don’t play those games, Joe.” (H/T MMA Junkie)
In between the end of the final prelim fight and before the pay-per-view began, Cormier proceeds to leave his cageside position to confront Paul. The latter was sitting in the front row with Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown. UFC security separated the men, but the incident was caught on camera. Paul later took to Instagram to share his perspective on the exchange.
“Cormier comes up to me, starts chirping. I’m sitting here enjoying myself with AB,” Paul shared. “… 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.”
Do you think Jake Paul or Daniel Cormier was the instigator of the exchange at UFC 261?