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Daniel Cormier: I hope Jon Jones was watching me win the UFC title

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Daniel Cormier is the UFC light heavyweight champion. Regardless of who you believe is the best fighter, Cormier won the title by choking out Anthony Johnson in the third round Saturday night at UFC 187 in Las Vegas.

And Cormier hopes Jon Jones, the former champ, was tuning in from home on pay-per-view.

"I hope he was," Cormier told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "Could you imagine him sitting there watching me of all people get the belt? If the roles were reversed, I would be going insane if I had to watch him do that if I was in his situation. He doesn't want to see me win. He doesn't want to see me carry what he probably feels is still his title, which it isn't -- it's mine."

Jones and Cormier have had a heated rivalry for years, going back to 2011 when they first met and Jones ribbed Cormier that he could take him down. There was a brawl at a press conference last August and a memorable, profane exchange on a hot mic that neither of them thought would ever reach the public.

It all culminated in their fight at UFC 182 on Jan. 3. Jones beat Cormier by unanimous decision that night. It was a clear win. Cormier would have to work his way back if he ever wanted to fight for the belt again.

At least that's what we thought at the time. Now, Cormier is the champ without even needing to beat Jones. On April 27, Jones was arrested on a felony hit-and-run charge in Albuquerque, N.M. A day later, the UFC suspended him indefinitely and stripped him of the belt. Cormier was announced as the replacement against Johnson in the UFC 187 main event.

After Cormier won Saturday, he took the mic from Joe Rogan and addressed Jones.

"Get your sh*t together," Cormier said. "I'm waiting for you."

Why would Cormier call out Jones just a few seconds after realizing his dream of winning the title?

"Because he beat [me] like Jon just beat me and I just beat the guy that a lot of people thought was going to beat him," Cormier said. "So I'm like, you know what, man? I still want to fight him. I want to challenge myself against the best guy. He's good.

"More than anything, I think Saturday night showed how special the kid is if he can get himself and everything else in order. For him to have beaten me and for me to do what I did to Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson, that's crazy man. So yeah, I want to compete against him. I hope that he does get it together so that we can fight again."

UFC president Dana White has said that Jones will get an immediate title shot if and when he returns to the Octagon. However, there is the matter of his legal issues. Jones is currently waiting to see if his felony case will be brought to a grand jury by the Bernalillo County district attorney. If it does, the grand jury will decide whether or not to indict. There are still steps to go in the process. Jones is being accused of running a red light in a rental vehicle and striking a car driven by a pregnant woman, breaking her arm.

Cormier will likely get Ryan Bader next and the two sold the fight hard in the post-fight press conference Saturday night. Cormier talked smack to Bader, who was in the room and approached the dais. The two had to be separated.

Cormier, 36, has a particular talent for promotion. He vows, though, to be a role model while wearing the belt in an obvious shot at Jones.

"I believe that I will represent this sport in the best light possible," Cormier said. "I won't mess it up. I won't get myself in any trouble. I'm gonna live my life the correct way and I'm gonna be a champion the kids look up to and hopefully aspire to be like."