Ex-Champ Daniel Cormier Challenges Jake Paul To MMA Fight: 'I'll Rip His Face Apart'

Jake Paul strikes a pose after a fight
Gettyimages | Michael Reaves
MMA

Former UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier challenged YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul to an MMA fight Monday on his "DC & Helwani" ESPN podcast.

"I'm going to torture him. I'm going to hurt him. I don't want to box him," Cormier said. "I don't want to fight in a limited set of rules. If you really want to fight me, fight me in a mixed martial arts competition."

Cormier evidently wasn't impressed by Paul's recent TKO victory in a boxing match against former MMA fighter Ben Askren.

"I'm going to rip his face apart. I'm going to hurt the kid," Cormier said. "... I'm gonna choke him, I'm gonna elbow him."

Paul's Antics Got Under His Skin

Daniel Cormier weighs in before a UFC bout.
Gettyimages | Handout

Cormier, now 42 and retired since August 2020, said he was doing his job as a commentator at UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday when Paul showed up at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and began clowning around.

"He's like making faces at me and waving at me. I'm like, what in the world is happening?" Cormier said. "... This 24-year-old kid is heckling me. He's heckling me. He's like a troll, but like a famous troll."

Cormier may also have been upset that Paul called him "fat boy" in a quote-tweet on April 18.

Crowd Was Chanting: 'F--- Jake Paul'

Giphy | UFC

Cormier was never one to shy away from publicity while compiling a 22-3-1 record as a heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, but the former U.S. Olympic wrestler took offense at Paul using his name "as a springboard." 

"If protecting my legacy means I gotta slap this kid upside  his head, that's what I'll do," he said on Monday's show with co-host Ariel Helwani.

Cormier said he would be willing to fight the former Disney Channel star in the MMA cage at 205 pounds.

"Why would I go and box Jake Paul?" Cormier said. "I made my money as the heavyweight champion of the world. I don't have to chase a payday. This kid wants to fight? OK, I'll fight him. But it'll be a mixed martial arts competition."

Paul Gives His Take On UFC Encounter

Jake Paul grabbed the spotlight at UFC 261.
Gettyimages | Ethan Miller

Paul tweeted a cellphone video clip of his Saturday night encounter with Cormier that shows the former champ pointing a finger in Paul's face while Paul tells him, "You put my name in your mouth first!"

During the UFC 261 broadcast, Cormier discussed the confrontation with commentator Joe Rogan.

"I swear to God, I just saw Jake Paul," Cormier said. "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."

Stay tuned, fight fans.