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Daniel Cormier on title shot: 'It's not my fault Jon Jones got into trouble'

Esther Lin

Daniel Cormier is not the sort of person who takes pleasure in other people's misfortunes. So he takes no joy from Jon Jones' recent troubles.

"I'm not that person, I'm not that person that's happy when another guy has bad things happen to them," Cormier said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.

But at the same time, he's not going to let Jones' legal and professional issues, which caused him to be stripped of the UFC light heavyweight championship, invalidate Cormier's bout with Anthony Johnson for the vacant title on May 23 in Las Vegas.

"We're fighting for the real belt," Cormier said. "It's not my fault Jon Jones got into trouble. It's not Anthony Johnson's fault [Jones] got into trouble. It's sad that because of his indiscretions, it casts a shadow over this championship that he's reigned over for so long, but I feel like it's a real title."

It's no secret Cormier and Jones don't like one another. Their hotel lobby brawl at the MGM Grand last summer, followed by an obscenity-laced B-roll tape of the two yelling insults at one another from different studios, helped propel UFC 182 into a big-drawing event.

Cormier's not going to gloat at Jones' personal issues, however.

"I don't need to be vindicated in my thoughts," DC said. "Because guess what? At the end of the day, even though I don't think he's a great person, someone else could, obviously the people around him think he is. There's no vindication, I could be basing my opinions on things that happened in public, It's not like I need another incident to say that Jon's not a very good person. This incident does nothing to further my feelings toward him in that respect. I don't need vindication.

"I don't ever celebrate someone's misfortunes," Cormier continued. "I think more than anything, I had a reaction on a human level more than a competitive, enemy level. It was more what's going to happen to Jon's ability to earn over next year, what's going to happen to his kids and his fiancee and his parents."

Cormier knows that if he defeats Johnson at UFC 187, the fact he lost to Jones via unanimous decision at 182 will hang over him, and it would continue to linger until the two met in a rematch. But for now, he's only worried about the "Rumble" fight.

"No one has said Daniel, you and Anthony are fighting for an interim title," Cormier said. "You're fighting for the real UFC light heavyweight championship, and that's how I'm treating it."

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