Daniel Cormier is giving his side to the Phil Hawes confrontation at UFC Austin.
At UFC Austin, Daniel Cormier was on commentary duty as he is quite frequently at UFC events. Part of his job on fight night is to go into the cage post-fight and interview the winners and sometimes to losers.
On Saturday night at UFC Austin, things took a turn for the weird when winning fighter Phil Hawes started yelling at Cormier when it came time for his post-fight interview.
Inside the Octagon, Hawes began to call out to Cormier and began to show anger towards him. To this end, Cormier seemed confused and was able to de-escalate the situation. Now several days removed from the incident, Cormier is explaining what transpired and why he believes Hawes was so mad at him.
“I step into the Octagon and Phil is doing something that we call in Louisiana, ‘Booting up.’ This dude’s booting up on me,” he said on his YouTube channel (via MMA Fighting.) “Phil’s like this, ‘What’s up, man? What’s up?’ And I was like, what is going on? He’s booting up on me. So I’m like, ‘Me?’ to Phil. And Phil’s kind of telling me that I picked the wrong opponent. Well, if you want to know where that stems from, here it is. I’ll tell you exactly what it stems from.”
Cormier went on to explain a meeting between himself and Hawes in Abu Dhabi. He explained that Hawes was looking to join Cormier at his gym AKA but then was matched up with Deron Winn, a close friend and training partner of Cormier’s.
“I said ‘no’ to the fight,” Cormier explained. “I didn’t think it was a great fight and obviously look at what played out. It’s not like I was wrong in my thought in regards to the matchup. So Phil is saying I picked the wrong opponent. So I say to Phil, ‘Do you think I pick fights? Do you think I make the fights?’ I go, ‘Phil, that’s ridiculous. I don’t make the fights, my friend. Be respectful. Be respectful.’”
Hawes backed down from Cormier while still inside the cage and did apologize. To this end, he gained Cormier’s respect.
“Phil being the great guy that he is, he immediately gets that. Phil’s not a bad guy, that’s what people don’t understand. I hold no ill will towards Phil Hawes for last weekend. He’s high on adrenaline, he had the best performance of his entire career,” he said. “He feels like King Kong, he feels great out there, he’s hyped up, he’s got this idea — probably something that has motivated him throughout the entire camp — to go and put me in my place because I picked him as Deron’s opponent. The reality is I didn’t do that.”
What did you think of Phil Hawes confronting Cormier inside the cage?