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Daniel Cormier: 'I'll smack Bisping around anytime'

Daniel Cormier says he wouldn't have a problem smacking friend and FOX Sports host Michael Bisping around the Octagon.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The gloves are off between Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier now that 'The Count' is the new UFC middleweight champion.

Bisping, 37, knocked out Cormier's teammate Luke Rockhold to become the first British champ in UFC history last month at UFC 199 and was teased to replace Jon Jones at UFC 200. However, 'DC' took on middleweight legend Anderson Silva in a light heavyweight non-title fight and added another win to his resume.

Bisping and Cormier frequently host FOX Sports analysis shows and have developed a friendship on-and-off camera. Cormier, however, wouldn't have a problem with putting their friendship on hold to settle things in the Octagon.

When asked during a Twitter Q&A session whether their friendship would get in the way of a potential title fight, the American Kickboxing Academy standout assured fans that he'd have no problem smacking Bisping around the cage.

Cormier, a former heavyweight contender, dropped down to light heavyweight in 2014 and seized the title when he submitted Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson at UFC 187. Bisping, who started his career as a light heavyweight, made the switch to middleweight in 2008 but has entertained the possibility of a return to 205 pounds to become a two-division champion.

It's expected that Cormier will defend the belt against the winner of Glover Teixeira vs. Anthony Johnson at UFC 202 while Bisping will look to defend his title for the first time against Dan Henderson by the end of the year.