HomeSportsNBADaniel Cormier takes random shot at Russell Westbrook at UFC 288

Daniel Cormier takes random shot at Russell Westbrook at UFC 288

by Wade Peery
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

It’s not surprising to see a professional athlete take a verbal jab at Russell Westbrook. The mercurial superstar has been known to get into a number of fights over the years, whether it be with opposing players, or fans in the stands. But Westbrook randomly took a verbal jab from former UFC star Daniel Cormier on Saturday night. It’s certainly not what you’d expect.

During Gilbert Burns’ pre-fight walk to the ring at UFC 288, Cormier unveiled his “Keys to Victory” for the Brazilian against Belal Muhammad. One of his keys to victory was, “Don’t be Russell Westbrook.”

You can see a screenshot of it below.

“Russell Westbrook, who I love, is one of the most talented guys in the NBA. As is Gilbert Burns [in the UFC] Russ got to the NBA Finals once,” Cormier said during the UFC 288 broadcast. “He’s got back on the verge of it a couple of times, but he was never able to break through. This is [Gilbert Burns’] chance to get a second opportunity at a championship, but you’ve got to separate yourself from the great Russell Westbrook and go and earn another title fight.”

Saturday was Burns’ chance at reclaiming glory. The winner would have been the next title contender. They’d face the winner of Leon Edwards and Colby Covington.

Burns unfortunately lost on Saturday night, dropping a five-round decision to Muhammad. That doesn’t mean that he hasn’t earned the respect of the head of the UFC, Dana White. Following the fight, White called Burns an “absolute savage” after hearing that he had an injured shoulder in Saturday’s fight.

Westbrook has had a contentious relationship with the media over the years. While he certainly deserves some criticism for his play in recent years, there’s no disputing the remarkable talent he showcased during his prime. It’s surprising the amount of disrespect he gets.

Russell Westbrook is one of the all-time greats

He helped to propel the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012. The Thunder lost in five games to the Miami Heat. And Westbrook was also a part of one of the best duos in NBA history, when he paired with Kevin Durant to form one of the more dominant forces in the league.

He’s been one of the most complete guards in league history. Westbrook even averaged a triple-double for three straight seasons, an accomplishment that will be near impossible to repeat. Once he hangs up his sneakers, he can rest his head easy on the pillow, knowing that he established himself as one of the all-time greats in the history of the sport.