Daniel Cormier and Dominick Cruz are two of the best fighters on the planet. And there aren’t many people around who would fare well in arguments with them, either.
On Saturday night, the two analysts went head to head on the UFC on FOX 28 post-fight show on FS1 over the controversial finish to the card’s main event between Jeremy Stephens and Josh Emmett.
Stephens appeared to land an illegal knee in the finishing sequence, leading to a second-round knockout. There were also two elbows that Stephens threw that landed to the back of Emmett’s head that could have been ruled illegal blows. But referee Dan Miragliotta did not react to the potential fouls in the moment, and the Florida State Boxing Commission does not allow a review via instant replay.
Cormier, who was the color commentator on the FOX broadcast, said Stephens “got away with one” in finishing Emmett without anything being called illegal. Cruz, Stephens’ teammate at Alliance MMA and in the studio as a Fox analyst, vehemently disagreed. The former UFC bantamweight champion said he didn’t feel like the knee landed, because if it had, Emmett would have been badly rocked by it. And Cruz said he didn’t see the elbows as being fouls.
“It didn’t hurt Josh Emmett, but it doesn’t have to,” Cormier countered. “As long as it hits your opponent, it is an illegal shot. It doesn’t have to hurt Josh Emmett. Dom said something to the affect of, that was a nasty knee, if it landed it would have been over immediately. It doesn’t have to be over immediately. As long as it makes contact, it is an illegal blow and it’s over.”
Cruz responded: “Where did it make contact? … Where did it land?”
Michael Bisping broke in that it wasn’t Stephens’ fault, because it was the heat of the moment, which both Cruz and Cormier agreed with. But Cormier and Cruz remained at odds over whether it was an illegal knee or not.
“It ducks,” Cruz said.
“It touches!” Cormier responded.
Firing back, Cruz asks, “Where does it touch, bro?”
“Don’t make it seem like I am against Jeremy Stephens, because I am not,” Cormier said. “That’s contact, boys!”
Cruz replied: “You’re wrong.”
Cruz then adds that it can’t be an illegal knee if the referee “doesn’t call it illegal.”
“Then don’t call it illegal,” Cruz said.
“Dominick, I am just telling you that you’re wearing glasses, you can admit, hey your boy got away with one,” Cormier said. “It’s like me robbing a bank and getting away with it. You can’t be mad at me.”
“I disagree,” Cruz said. “You’re wrong. He missed.”
It continued like that for a bit. But in all likelihood, despite the arguments, Stephens will remain with a knockout victory, his third straight.