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UFC champ Daniel Cormier says Jonathan Papelbon’s form was ‘terrible’ in choke of Bryce Harper

Jonathan Papelbon’s dugout dust-up with Bryce Harper quickly became the Choke Seen ‘Round the World, and sure enough, even TMZ has gotten into the action. The gossip Web site came across Daniel Cormier on Monday for one of its impromptu sidewalk interviews, and what better to ask of an MMA star than what he thought of the fight?

[Bryce Harper criticism in Papelbon scuffle is off base and out of date]

Cormier questioned Harper’s composure, but he gave Papelbon mixed reviews. Of the relief pitcher’s “form” in applying a chokehold to his nemesis, the UFC champ had a simple critique: “Terrible.”

Cormier should know, having used a chokehold to defeat Anthony Johnson for the light heavyweight championship in May. The fighter didn’t specify, but he probably wasn’t thrilled with Papelbon’s technique in reaching out toward Harper’s neck from a facing position.

“You won’t find that in the Octagon,” Cormier added.

However, Cormier was impressed by Papelbon’s fighting spirit, awarding him “an ‘A’ for effort.” Cormier noted, “You always wonder, will a guy fight if the time comes? It looks like it, because he actually went after his teammate.”

[Winners and losers from the Jonathan Papelbon-Bryce Harper fight]

Of Harper’s response, Cormier said, “I think he did the right thing, he defended himself. But Bryce Harper’s like the team captain or something, so I think he needs to hold himself in higher regard and maybe take the high road.”

Here is video of the TMZ interview:

On Saturday, Cormier will have a chance to display his fighting expertise, when he defends his light heavyweight crown against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192. The day after that, the Nats’ season comes to a merciful end.