Daniel Cormier barely had time to celebrate his new light heavyweight championship before he nearly came to blows with Ryan Bader at the UFC 187 post-fight press conference.
Cormier and Bader were scheduled to meet in two weeks at UFC Fight Night in New Orleans, but the plans were scrapped when Jon Jones was arrested, stripped of his title and suspended and the UFC needed a new opponent to face Anthony Johnson.
"There’s somebody else that needs his ass kicked, too. Ryan Bader’s ass, I’m going to beat the s–t out of him next time," Cormier said. "You keep talking, Bader! This guy’s 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."
Bader began yelling back at Cormier from the rear of the room and the situation escalated in a hurry when the taunts got louder and louder.
"Come on Ryan, you can come and fight me. You’ll just get your ass kicked like you were going to do in June," Cormier said. "I asked them to fight you because I just wanted an easy paycheck! I wanted to fight you, I asked to fight you multiple time. They said, ‘DC, who do you want to fight?’ I said, ‘I want the easiest fight in the division. I want Ryan Bader.’"
The last jab was enough for Bader to charge the stage as he aimed directly at Cormier standing on the dais behind a table. Security quickly intervened, but Cormier wasn’t done with Bader yet.
(Warning: Video below contains profanity)
"Just give me my paychecks right now. Get your ass out of here," Cormier yelled as Bader was leaving the room. "This is my press conference! Get the f–k out of here."
Following the conclusion of the press conference, Bader spoke to FOX Sports about the incident and why he was ready to forgo the formality of signing contracts or actually stepping into the Octagon and throw down with Cormier right then and there.
"The thing is we were supposed to fight two other times. At the end of the day whether it’s for a title or not, I just want to fight Daniel Cormier. End of story, that’s it," Bader said. "He won that belt, congrats to him, but let’s do this fight already. We were scheduled in June and I was just fired up.
"We were in New Orleans doing press and he’s always doing little side remarks and he doesn’t stop talking the whole time. I’m just sick of it. So when he brought it up, I got heated and that was that."
Typically, Bader is a soft-spoken fighter who rarely has a bad word to say about anybody, but Cormier’s verbal jabs finally poked the bear too many times and he had to react.
It’s certainly not in his demeanor to charge a stage and nearly start a brawl at a press conference, but Bader says Cormier just brings the worst out of him.
"I’ve never had any animosity for an opponent before, but it’s just building up with DC. We took a short notice fight against him, we signed the contract and that fell through. Then we were supposed to fight for a No. 1 contender spot in June and that fell through. All I hear is little remarks and it was just building up and I’m at the press conference and he’s talking s–t again and I just had enough of it," Bader said.
"He’s a talker, he talks. That’s what he does. I just got sick of it, I was fired up, I went shark eyes a little bit and I was pissed and wanted to fight him there or wherever."
Considering the explosive event that nearly broke down at the press conference, Cormier vs. Bader seems like the logical next fight in the division for any number of reasons. Beyond the emotional turmoil between the two competitors and the cancelled fights, Bader is currently riding a four-fight win streak with three victories over top 10 opponents.
The matchup makes sense for a championship fight, but Bader doesn’t really care what’s up for grabs so long as he gets his hands on Cormier.
"I just want to go out there and beat his ass," Bader said. "I don’t care if it’s for a title, I just want to go out there and fight him. I thought I should have got the Anthony Johnson fight. I should be champ tonight, but things went the way they did. DC’s there, I believe I was the No. 1 contender before and now he’s talking s–t. Why wouldn’t we do this?"