Former UFC champion Daniel Cormier has ‘no interest’ in training Jake Paul for MMA fight

The pair engaged in a heated exchange at a UFC event in 2021

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Wednesday 12 January 2022 11:12
Jake Paul practises leg kicks in mixed martial arts training

Former UFC champion Daniel Cormier has ruled out training Jake Paul for a mixed martial arts fight.

YouTube star Paul has gone 5-0 as a professional boxer, having knocked out Tyron Woodley in his most recent bout. In his previous contest, Paul outpointed the ex-UFC welterweight champion, and the 24-year-old previously knocked out former UFC star Ben Askren.

Now, Paul is seemingly targeting a move into MMA. The American released footage this week of himself practising leg kicks, having recently told UFC president Dana White that he will fight in the promotion under MMA rules if the 52-year-old increases base fighter pay and offers healthcare to roster members.

White dismissed Paul’s proposal, but the YouTuber has said he will nevertheless train at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), where Cormier trained and still frequents.

American Cormier is a former Olympic wrestler and was one of just four champions in UFC history to have held two titles simultaneously – the heavyweight and light heavyweight belts – prior to his retirement in 2020.

And Cormier has said he will not lend his knowledge to Paul, with whom he engaged in a heated exchange at UFC 261 in April.

“No, I have no interest in that,” told MMA journalist The Schmo, when asked about Paul visiting AKA.

“It seems like a lot of ploys, right? It’s always ploys.

“I don’t know how true much of it is, but it seems like a ploy to me, so I’m not going to play that game.”

Daniel Cormier is a former dual-weight UFC champion

AKA’s head coach Javier Mendez previously told The Schmo that every gym member would need to approve of Paul’s presence for the 24-year-old to train there.

“It could happen,” he said. “But like anybody, we have to go through all the coaches and all the fighters that are here and anybody that’s a famous athlete like him.

“They will go through the routine that everybody does, so he would have to get voted by everybody.

“First of all, he’s never asked. What he’s done is he’s marketed himself beautifully. I loved the plug he gave us, I think it was a fantastic plug and I think he’s a fantastic person.

“But the reality is no matter who you are, you have to go through the team to get consent to train with us. He hasn’t been given consent because he hasn’t asked. It’s not that he won’t [be approved], I just know he hasn’t asked.

“If he does get denied, he won’t know who denied him, because we don’t say that.”

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