Daniel Cormier and ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith had a lively debate on ESPN’s First Take on Wednesday.
Cormier will appear on the UFC 281 pay-per-view broadcast this Saturday in New York City at Madison Square Garden. He returns to the broadcast desk alongside Joe Rogan and play-by-play man Jon Anik.
A few days away from one of the biggest cards of the year, Cormier stopped by the ESPN campus to make an appearance on First Take. He’s appeared sparingly on the show both as an MMA analyst and during his legendary career in the Octagon.
Ahead of UFC 281, Cormier named his Top 5 fighters of all time during his First Take showcase. The terms of the list were fighters across all of the combat sports, including MMA and boxing.
You can check out Cormier’s list, along with the full video segment, below.
Daniel Cormier & Stephen A. Smith Go Head-To-Head On First Take
Daniel Cormier’s Top Five Fighters Of All-Time
Smith provided a live reaction to Cormier’s list. Initially, Smith didn’t have a problem with his including Amanda Nunes, though the middle of his list created cause for debate.
Cormier’s placement of Muhammad Ali at No. 3 on the list seemed to irk Smith, who felt he deserved to be much higher. Cormier followed it up by putting former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at No. 2 and unbeaten boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in the top spot.
Cormier’s notable absences of Jon Jones and Anderson Silva drew a reaction from Smith as well. But, Cormier insisted his list didn’t include fighters with a checkered past when it came to performance-enhancing drugs and other violations.
Smith has been a longtime fan of boxing but has taken a liking to MMA in recent years. While his initial takes on MMA didn’t irritate fans, his harsh criticism of Donald Cerrone following his loss to Conor McGregor drew a strong reaction from the sport’s community, including from Joe Rogan.
Cormier pointed out that if his drug-based limitations weren’t included in the conversation, he would likely include heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson as well as Jones.
What do you think about Daniel Cormier’s list?