LA MIRADA, Calif. – Daniel Cormier wants to torment Jon Jones long beyond their time in the octagon, and he has a plan to do so starting with victory at UFC 214 on Saturday.
Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), the current UFC light heavyweight champion, faces Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) in a rematch of his only career loss from UFC 182 in January 2015. Cormier believes victory will ensure a trilogy fight with his bitter rival, and once he wins that, he might either retire from the sport or change weight classes, leaving Jones behind.
Cormier said at that point he would want nothing more than for Jones to reclaim the title. Why? Because he wants him to experience the life of being called a fake or phony champion, which Cormier has had to endure for the entirety of his title reign after Jones was stripped of the gold for outside-the-cage actions following their UFC 182 bout.
“How about I walk across the stage and say, ‘Here, how about you deal with what I’ve been dealing with the last two years,’ and leave,” Cormier said at today’s UFC 214 open workouts. “Would that not be the ultimate (expletive) you? I think he’ll win again after I’m done. After I beat him twice and if I walk off into the sunset, or I leave this division, he’ll be the champion again. I want him to deal with what I’ve had to deal with where he is going to be berated for something that is not in his control.
“That’s what’s going to happen after the third fight. I’m going to say, ‘Here, this is his. I want him to be the champion right now.’ So all the people that said they gave me a title, I will literally give him the title and say, ‘You’re the champ now, deal with this (expletive).”
UFC 214 takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Cormier vs. Jones headlines the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.
Cormier, No. 2 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, is eager to defeat No. 1-ranked Jones to even the balance in their rivalry. Jones is adamant it’s not going to happen because Cormier is simply living in the era of one of the greatest fighters in history. Naturally, Cormier disagrees.
“This is my era,” Cormier said. “I win Saturday night, and I’m the greatest fighter ever. Why is it not my era? Because he beat me one time? All his praise that he’s giving himself on that victory like he dominated me tells me he did something he didn’t know he could do. He won a fight. He didn’t wipe the mat with me, but he’s walking around here like he just – he’s walking around like he beat Lyoto Machida or ‘Shogun’ Rua.
“I’m serious. He’s walking around as if he dominated my fight like he beat ‘Shogun’ Rua, and he talks about my mentality? That tells me that he surprised himself on Jan. 3, 2016. I’m not letting his ass off the hook this time.”
Although Cormier and Jones have both stated time after time they don’t see a scenario in which they squash their beef completely, both said they will agree to shake hands after UFC 214. Cormier doubled down on that statement, but with a twist.
“I’ll shake his hand – after I beat him,” Cormier said. “I’ll shake his hand and tell him, ‘Hey buck-o, get ready for the third one because we’ve still got business to deal with.’ That’s it. Keep your head up, Jon. You’ll be back in a few months, and we’ll fight again.”
For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.