The Daniel Cormier-Ryan Bader rivalry may have officially begun on Saturday night. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Jon Jones apparently isn’t the only unfinished business looming for Daniel Cormier. Just hours after Cormier had the light heavyweight title wrapped around his waist, the seeds for a new rivalry were already being sown.
Before Jones was suspended indefinitely and stripped of the light heavyweight title, he was scheduled to defend the belt against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187. Meanwhile, following a loss to “Jonny Bones” at UFC 182, Cormier presumably had to work his way back to the top, beginning with a headlining contest opposite Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night in New Orleans on June 6.
However, when Jones ran afoul of the law in Albuquerque, N.M., Cormier was more than willing to take his place in hopes of becoming the promotion’s new light heavyweight king. Things worked out well for the American Kickboxing Academy mainstay, as he submitted Johnson with a rear-naked choke 2:39 into round three of the UFC 187 headliner.
Since losing out on the chance to face Cormier in the Big Easy, Bader, who doesn’t have a fight lined up, has been vocal about his standing in light heavyweight division. He even took the opportunity to prod “DC” on Twitter ahead of Saturday’s title fight.
Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) May 20, 2015
The Power MMA Team standout was in attendance for Cormier’s coronation at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night, and the two would-be combatants had a heated confrontation at the event’s post-fight press conference.
Cormier did not mince words as he addressed Bader, who was standing near the back of the room -- at least at first.
“There’s somebody else that needs his ass kicked too. I think he’s around here. That’s Ryan Bader’s ass and I’m going to beat the s--t out of him next time,” Cormier said.
Bader shouted back at Cormier before eventually walking up to the dais for a closer look at his rival. Suddenly, a bout that had generated only moderate interest when it was announced seems to have plenty of momentum behind it now.
“You keep talking, Bader. This guy is so disrespectful. I’m trying to fight Anthony Johnson, and Ryan Bader is writing me stupid messages on Twitter because he wants people to think that he deserves a title shot,” Cormier said. “Come on, Ryan. You can come and fight me. You can get your ass kicked like you were going to do in June.”
“I didn’t get out of any fights. Not once did I not want to fight Ryan Bader. I asked them to fight you because I just want an easy paycheck. I knew that I wanted to fight you. I asked to fight you multiple times,” Cormier continued. “They said, ‘Daniel, what do you want?’ I said, ‘I want the easiest fight in the division. I want Ryan Bader.’”
After a brief shouting match, Bader walked away. As the newly-minted champion, Cormier was more than happy to have the last word.
“Just give me my paychecks right now, Bader. Get your ass out of here. This is my press conference. Get the f—k out of here.”
Whether or not Cormier-Bader is next on the UFC’s light heavyweight agenda remains to be seen, but with a date for Jones’ return still uncertain, it might be the new champ’s most appealing option.
DC and Ryan Bader nearly come to blows at presser, "Get your a** outta here, this is my f****** press conference." pic.twitter.com/skhCw6Q7i3— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) May 24, 2015