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Calm down! Daniel Cormier gushes for ‘champ’ Islam Makhachev, gets flamed by Justin Gaethje

UFC 266: Daniel Cormier MMA News Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Former UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who transitioned to the announce table after retiring from MMA back in summer 2020, was gushing for lightweight contender Islam Makhachev after the once-beaten lightweight effortlessly dispatched 155-pound veteran Dan Hooker on the UFC 267 main card last weekend in Abu Dhabi.

Watch the video highlights here.

“Give Makhachev the title fight!” Cormier wrote on Twitter. “I don’t even need to see who wins next week. This dude just killed it. Khabib (Nurmagomedov) said this was his MSG moment and boy did he not deliver. He’s gonna be the champ.”

The “next week” comment refers to the lightweight showdown between top contenders Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler, who go to war on the UFC 268 pay-per-view (PPV) main card this Sat. night (Nov. 6, 2021) inside Madison Square Garden (MSG) in New York.

Not surprisingly, those comments didn’t sit well with “The Highlight.”

“Suck it harder DC,” Gaethje fired back. “You brought my name up. It wasn’t going to come out of anybody’s mouth.”

Cormier has a relationship with Makhachev — the protege of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov — through American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), where “The Eagle” and Co. would train while stateside for UFC fights.

“I can’t fight you, but Islam can my guy,” Cormier continued. “You just go and do what you do next week. You may be safe I’m not sure champ. I literally asked why he should get title shot over you? Because he has to convince he deserves to jump you. Hell I thought you should have been in the fight with Charles. Have said it publicly. Calm down highlight, you’re my favorite fighter.”

Cormier has come under fire in recent months for his “biased” commentary (samples here and here) but appears to be a permanent fixture at the UFC announce table, especially with longtime mouthpiece Joe Rogan winding down his color career.

Makhachev and Gaethje are competing for the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier, who collide for the Brazilian’s 155-pound strap in the UFC 269 main event in December.