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Jon Jones' manager denies punching Daniel Cormier: 'I was the one who f---ing broke it up'

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If anything, Malki Kawa says he was playing peacemaker.

Esther Lin/ MMA Fighting

During yesterday's (Mon. Aug. 4, 2014) insane brawl between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier at UFC Media Day in Las Vegas, Nevada (video), it seemed as if Team Jones wasn't playing fair.

In the midst of the insanity and sea of people trying to separate the champ and his challenger, it appeared as if Malki Kawa, Jon's manager, took a swing at "DC" once the fight hit the ground.

Not so, said Kawa, during his impromptu appearance "The MMA Hour" (via MMA Fighting).

If anything, he was trying to play peacemaker (unlike this guy) and what looked like a swing was just him trying to get a hold of Cormier's arm to pull him away.

His words:

"I clear the guy's arm and I reach down with an open hand. I never tried to hit (Cormier). I never once threw any type of punch or anything that would show that I was trying to any way harm any one of them. I was trying to break it up, so I put my hands in between Cormier's arm and Jones' head, wanted to break that up. I get grabbed, and that's what everybody sees me reaching down. At the end of the day, when you look at the slow mo video, you watch my hand go down, hand open, and I grab DC's arm because he was still throwing punches. I grabbed and pulled him out. I'm the only (one) who ends up picking DC up and pulling him away from the fight. I basically broke it up. Everybody was grabbing Jones. The problem I'm having here is everyone saying ‘you punched him, you punched him,' and I was the one who f---ing broke it up. I would never do something like that, and it's a shame that people are trying to paint that picture."

During an interview on FOX Sports Live (see it here), Cormier himself said he didn't believe Malki took a swing at him either, though initially he thought that was indeed the case.

His words:

"I saw him but everything was moving so fast. Initially, I thought he did. I don't know. I mean I really don't know looking at the footage. It doesn't seem like it, it's not something that I would expect him to do. I've met him on multiple occasions. I saw him once with his daughter, he seems like a very nice guy. Today he was very nice to me, so it's not something I would expect him to do. But when emotion was running high, maybe i did think that he did it. But as I look back, I don't know. I got a message from one of the UFC officials that he wanted to personally say that he didn't do it. And that's good enough for me. Whatever, that's not a big deal to me."

Indeed, when tempers flare and emotions are running sky high, people tend to say or do things in the heat of the moment; like throwing a shoe at your foe, something Cormier admitted to doing during the scrap.

Still, if that's not enough to convince you that Kawa is innocent, Jones went on record during the same interview and guaranteed that his manager never swung at Cormier.

His words:

"Malki and I have been working together for four years now. Me and Malki are like brothers. I can guarantee you that Malki did not hit Daniel Cormier. We talked about it several times, we watched the video several times and that did not happen. What you saw in that video was someone grabbing his arm, Malki ripping his arm off of that person and pulling Daniel from under me and out of the situation. So, just to clear the record on that, Malki did not hit you, Daniel.

For your convenience, here's a slow-motion GIF of the swing in question:

Both men have since apologized for the brawl and will continue with their promotional duties later today (Aug. 5, 2014), as they, along with Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, hit Los Angeles, Calif., for another media day.

And you can expect UFC to hire a little extra security to prevent another melee from breaking out... and to also help this guy out, as well.

Just in case.