Daniel Cormier’s epic weekend: Winning title, meeting Schwarzenegger, watching Mariah in concert

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The champion made time to set up grudge matches, too.

 

Are there any non-MMA fans reading this? Let’s provide some context for this story. Daniel Cormier (KOHR-mee-ay) lost his UFC light-heavyweight title fight with champion Jon Jones in January. Jones was then stripped of his title in April after getting arrested on hit-and-run charges. Cormier was called to fight number-one contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson for the vacant title at the past weekend’s UFC 187. There, Cormier’s gigantic head endured an early barrage of strikes from the aptly nicknamed ‘Rumble’ en-route to implementing his pressure gameplan and choking out Johnson in round three.

Are we all up to speed? Okay.

Cormier, ever the fight promoter, managed to set up two pending grudge matches after his fight.

“Jon Jones! Get your s— together, I’m waiting for you!” The words Cormier spat into the microphone after winning the belt were directed towards the one man who ever beat him, the “1” in his “16-1″ record. Jon Jones is the paradox, the best fighter in his division, and yet not the champion. Currently under indefinite suspension, Jones was on an incredible 9-fight title run before he was defeated by his actions outside the cage.

Then, at the post-fight press conference, Cormier got into a heated confrontation with #3-ranked Ryan Bader. The two were scheduled to fight before Cormier was pulled out to replace Jones. Major social media and interview trash talk ensued between the two after the cancelled bout, and after this latest verbal altercation, it’s probable that Bader is getting the next title shot if Jones’ legal troubles drag out.

Without all this bickering, Bader would have been the logical choice anyway, based on a 4-fight win streak he has accumulated with hardly anyone noticing. But all this beef with the new champion has made it a SELLABLE fight.

This is the Ryan Bader who got choked out by Jones in Round 2. This is also the Ryan Bader who got choked out by TITO ORTIZ in less than two minutes. Bader was Tito’s only win between 2008-2012, the “1” in Tito’s “1-6″ run. And this is the Ryan Bader who got finished by Lyoto Machida and Glover Teixeira. With these notable losses, it’s a testament to Cormier’s hype game that people are excited to see this title fight happen.

Also, on a side note, UFC senior VP of public relations Dave Sholler had to hold back Cormier as Bader approached the stage. Poor Dave Sholler was also the man who tried in vain to separate Jones and Cormier at their infamous press conference brawl last year. Jones violently pushed Sholler aside, causing the banner to come crashing down with him. Why can’t Dave Sholler ever have a peaceful press conference?

Now onto the lighter side of Daniel Cormier news:

During a backstage interview by Megan Olivi with Cormier, action star and ex-governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was in attendance at UFC 187, suddenly showed up to congratulate the new champion.

“Really fantastic, congratulations. What a great champion. I really admire you. You’ve had such a great career, and such a great fight.”

The former Mr. Olympia couldn’t resist sneaking a joke about Cormier’s physique, though.

“You trimmed down. I almost saw a six-pack!”

Then on Sunday, the day after UFC 187, Cormier took advantage of the fight being in Las Vegas to enjoy an evening of Mariah Carey’s hit headlining residency “MARIAH #1 TO INFINITY” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

Even before the fight, Cormier admitted to TMZ Sports that he already had tickets to see Mariah. In an even more surprising admission, he revealed which musical act he has gone to watch the most.

“I usually go to Boyz II Men, every time. I took my crew, about 7 or 8 guys last time to Boyz II Men. They hated it.”

This explains the conversation that may or may not have been allegedly overheard by the cornermen cageside during the last moments of the fight, when Cormier had ‘Rumble’ on all fours and sunk in the choke:

RUMBLE: “Oh God give me the reasons…I’m down on bended knee…”

CORMIER (to the referee): “And I will not let go ’til you tell me to.”

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