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Daniel Cormier: 'It's time for people to stop feeling sorry' for Jon Jones

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- For Daniel Cormier, the only person to blame for Jon Jones' recent troubles is Jones himself.

Jones, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, was arrested April 27 on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury. The UFC stripped his title and suspended him indefinitely one day later.

This comes after Jones tested positive for cocaine in a December out-of-competition screening. "Bones" also has a 2012 DWI arrest on his record.

"I feel bad for his family and the people around him," Cormier said Wednesday at UFC 187 open workouts. "But he's making these decisions. I think it's time for people to stop feeling sorry for this guy and make him realize that he has to get things done the right way. By feeling sorry for him, it's almost like you enable the guy to continue to do bad things. I mean, I don't feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for the people closest to him. These decisions don't affect just Jon. It affects every body around him."

It was supposed to be Jones fighting Anthony Johnson here Saturday in the main event of UFC 187. Instead, with Jones out, Cormier will step in and take on Johnson for the vacant title.

Cormier fell to Jones by unanimous decision at UFC 182 in January. The two had a heated rivalry for years culminating in that fight. Back in August, Cormier and Jones got into a brawl at a UFC press conference. There is still plenty of ill will. Cormier knows he won't be able to put Jones in his rear-view mirror any time soon, especially with UFC president Dana White saying on Jim Rome's show Wednesday that Jones will get an immediate title shot upon his return.

"Now I'm back tied to him," Cormier said. "It's like I cannot separate myself from Jon Jones. At the end of the day, Jon will get himself together. How good would it be for you guys if he has to come back in the challenger's role against me? I'll run his ass through the mud."

Jones, 27, is being accused of running a red light in a rented SUV and striking a car driven by a pregnant woman April 26 in Albuquerque, N.M. The woman fractured her arm in the collision. Jones allegedly fled the scene after the crash. Albuquerque police could not locate him for more than 24 hours until he turned himself in.

Cormier, 36, believes Jones' actions are tied together.

"If there's anything I take away from this with Jones it's he has an issue," Cormier said. "He has some demons. Not only because of this incident, but because of the past incidents. And even the [positive] test before him and I fought. This is arguably the biggest fight of your career and a month before you're doing those types of things."

Cormier said Jones should rightfully get a title shot whenever he comes back, because he has earned it. Jones is still the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and has never truly lost an MMA fight. Jones' only defeat came via controversial disqualification.

"What we need to focus more on is him becoming a better person and him fixing himself," Cormier said. "None of us should sit here and worry about Jon Jones the athlete. You worry about Jon Jones the person, because that's what's important right now. He has some demons, some issues he needs to take care of before he can get back to all this. This will always be here waiting for him. He's 27 years old. Get himself together, be a better person and then worry about the athlete."

That doesn't mean Cormier is sitting around feeling bummed for Jones.

"I don't feel sorry for Jon; I feel sorry for the lady he hit in the car that has a baby coming," Cormier said. "I feel sorry for his parents who have to wake up every morning and see those types of things in the media. I don't feel sorry for him. He did this."