JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The boos rained down on Jake Paul as he walked to his seat at UFC 261. Before long, the chant began.
The chant rang throughout the arena as Randy Brown and Alex Oliveira slugged it out in the featured prelim. It caught the attention of UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
“What are they chanting?” Rogan asked on the broadcast, though no one at the time had an answer.
Immediately after Brown submitted Oliveira with a one-armed rear-naked choke, Rogan let viewers know what the chant was.
“I found out what the chant was. It was ‘F Jake Paul,’” Rogan said. “That’s what they were all yelling out. How’d that get started? I don’t know.”
Paul’s presence seemed to strike a nerve with Rogan’s broadcast partner, Daniel Cormier, who has a recently birthed beef with the YouTube star-turned-boxer.
“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 responded. “He’s right there. I’ll slap him. I don’t play those games, Joe.”
— THE NBA Hustle 🏀 (@TheNBAHustle) April 25, 2021
But that wasn’t it. After Brown’s post-fight interview concluded and the UFC’s famous “Baba O’Reilly” montage played in front of a live audience for the first time in 13 months, Cormier left his position and made a B-line toward where Paul was seated.
As UFC security intervened, Cormier exchanged words with Paul before he was escorted back to his cageside seat. The exchange was captured by MMA Junkie’s John Morgan and can be seen in the video above and the tweet below.
Jake Paul is in the building at #UFC261. Did you hear Daniel Cormier say on the broadcast that he’d “slap him in the face?”
Well, they had a confrontation. 😬
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) April 25, 2021
Here’s the video 👇
— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) April 25, 2021
The confrontation between Cormier and Paul didn’t materialize on the spot. Since Paul’s knockout win against Ben Askren last Saturday, he exchanged words with Cormier through social media and in interviews.
On a recent episode of his brother Logan Paul’s podcast, “IMPAULSIVE”, Jake sounded off on Cormier for his past support of Askren.
“Shut the f*ck up, b*tch,” Paul said. “I’ll beat the f*ck out of your fat ass, too, just like Stipe did. Cleveland sh*t. I swear to God. I’ll beat the f*ck out of Daniel Cormier.”
On ESPN, Cormier shrugged off Paul’s comments – and a tweet the YouTube star had sent, which insulted Cormier. The former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion said he was not interested in “punching down” by fighting someone like Paul.
“This dude would never fight me,” Cormier said on ESPN. “I would kill him. Why would I ever fight someone like that?”