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Morning Report: Daniel Cormier has new plan to beat Jon Jones, 'Skill for skill I'm better than him'

Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier doesn't know when, but the next time he steps into the Octagon he'll be sharing it with Jon Jones.

Jones scored a unanimous decision in the five-round title bout with Cormier at UFC 182, but "DC" says he's corrected what cost him the fight.

"The truth is, I lost that fight to Jones, but I didn't fight my best fight," Cormier told UFC announcer Bruce Buffer on his podcast. "I didn't fight very well and I still had a lot of moments in that fight. For me going into the next fight, not only do I feel like I'm going to win, I feel I'm supposed to win. I am a better mixed martial artist than Jon Jones. Skill for skill I'm better than that guy."

Cormier gives Jones his due credit for the win at UFC 182, but insists he won't be taking the same approach in the rematch.

"There was a lot of talk and on Jan. 3, 2015 Jon fought the better fight," said Cormier. "He was the better fighter on that night. He did a phenomenal job of making me fight the way he wanted. As the fight progressed and both of us started to tire a little bit he started to initiate clinches and slowed me down and made me fight the slow fight that he's very good at. He's not going to get to do that again this time. I'm already covering those bases. There are a lot of things I did in that first fight that lent to me losing. Not really respecting Jon and his ability to dictate a fight.

"I thought that by putting the type of pressure that I put on people that eventually he would fold. Kenny Florian told me something right before the fight and it rang so true. 'DC, got out and win this fight because you're better. He's not going to give up on himself in 25 minutes.' I trained for three months to break him, but 25 minutes isn't enough time for Jon to give up on himself. I have to go beat him because I'm better than him."

Involved in an April hit-and-run incident in Albuquerque, N.M., Jones would be stripped of title and suspended indefinitely while the former champ settled his legal issues.

A date with Cormier has yet to be made in early 2016, making Jones' year-long layoff extend even further.

"He's so good," said Cormier. "He's such a good fighter that I don't think the layoff will affect him like it does others. I think he'll be OK. I think his issues are going to be with the improvements that I've made. Not anything on his end. He'll be just as good as he always is, if not better. But it's the improvement I've made that will make the difference. On the night of the fight my coach 'Crazy' Bob Cook told me, 'I usually get a better guy than I do in the gym. This time, I didn't.'

"Bob pulled no punches. He didn't comfort me. He told me I didn't do the things I was supposed to do. 'You didn't fight as well as you can. I don't understand how on the biggest stage of your life you really didn't get the job done.' It was perfect for me because it lit a fire under my ass to let me know that I'm never going to do what I did in that fight again."

Jones plead guilty to felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident, but was granted a conditional discharge given he meet the requirements of his probation. Jones was ordered to make 72 appearances doing work with charity and speaking with children.

Jones was officially reinstated to the UFC roster in late October. "We're happy to read and see reports that he has embraced the terms of his plea agreement and is using this experience to grow and develop as a person," UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said at the time."

If you thought Cormier would be handing Jones gold stars, think again.

"In terms of what Jon is doing now it's all very good," said Cormier. "I like that he's with his family. I like that he seems to have gotten sober. But at the end of the day, all this stuff is just normal. It's what you're supposed to do. I don't really want to get credit for being close to my family and being a hard-working person who doesn't do drugs. Acknowledge me for doing the stuff I'm not supposed to do.

"Doing community service is community service, but how bout going and talking to these kids on your own? Not when you're forced to do it. The positive changes he's made are very good for him, but in reality it's just normal. If you're a man with a fiancé, you're not supposed to run around on her."



Some kind of panty night. UFC president Dana White says newly signed Mickey Gall will have to beat a 0-0 pro fighter to get his shot at CM Punk.

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Now it's real. B.J. Penn formally challenges Nik Lentz to fight at UFC 197.

'We have our own plans.' Greg Jackson "very optimistic" following meeting with B.J. Penn.

Chat Wrap. Luke Thomas discusses UFC 197, Nick Diaz's punishment, Yoel Romero's drug test and more in this week's live chat.




Embedded: Anthony Pettis vs. Eddie Alvarez.


Dana White says he isn't worried about Ronda Rousey's decision to stick with her camp.


Robbie Lawler got awkward on SportsCenter.


Firas Zahabi sees how well BJJ players like Gary Tonon do in a ground-and-pound situation.


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Our dear, dear friends of r/MMA got an award show.


Long watches.

"Press Row" with Jordan Breen and TJ De Santis.






New guy in town.

I get paid to be surrounded by great people. So grateful to be focused enough to follow my dream at age 19....

Posted by Jon "Bones" Jones on Wednesday, January 13, 2016





My morning wake up call from USADA. Blood and pee test at 6am. #KEEPINGUFCCLEAN

Posted by Cain Velasquez on Wednesday, January 13, 2016


So much lifting.

The earthquake bar is waaaaayyyy harder than it looks!! Get one at WESTSIDE BARBELL The Official Fan Page for yourself and test yourself I new ways.... #conjugatesystem

Posted by "The Immortal" Matt Brown on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

MUSCLES DAY 1 @rosenamajunas

Posted by Pat "HD" Barry - Official Fan Page on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A lean 230lbs, excited to feel my speed at 220lbs #Victory #EarnIt #GatAthlete GAT

Posted by Jon "Bones" Jones on Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Rematch is on.




So close.


Don't get cheap now.



Announced yesterday (Jan. 13 2016)

Mickey Gall vs. Michael Jackson at UFC 196

Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb at UFC 197


Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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