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."
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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
Thank you @bjpenndotcom for dinner I got the next one welcome to Abq #boom @InstantKnockout pic.twitter.com/vCIeZ2eccT— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) January 14, 2016
Shocked to hear of Romero's positive test. What needs to now happen, is a rematch between clean athletes.— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) January 13, 2016
My morning wake up call from USADA. Blood and pee test at 6am. #KEEPINGUFCCLEANPosted by Cain Velasquez on Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Hanging out, watching dillashaw vs barao ll with @usantidoping this morning :)— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) 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.... #conjugatesystemPosted by "The Immortal" Matt Brown on Wednesday, January 13, 2016
MUSCLES DAY 1 @rosenamajunasPosted 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 GATPosted by Jon "Bones" Jones on Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Rematch is on.
ALRIGHT! Good food has me all healed and feeling great. Its not a "Diet" its a lifestyle. Its... https://t.co/2SxEdZRErQ— Carlos Condit (@CarlosCondit) January 14, 2016
I'm diggin' this picture of myself and @mickeygall. #UFC196 pic.twitter.com/cYSCwVZPmb— Mike Jackson, Esq. (@TheTruthJackson) January 14, 2016
Who the fuck is Michael Jackson !!!!— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) January 13, 2016
Is experience necessary to fight in the @ufc or can I just sign up somewhere???? ;) https://t.co/e7kfuTdlpI— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) January 14, 2016
Who would like 1 million of these great coins? Let's go Oireachtas! #VoteYES! pic.twitter.com/LAzzPLLDMG— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 13, 2016
Ah well it was fun while it lasted. Next time petition to stick me on that nice fat purple 500 bill https://t.co/kIiQH6omlv— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 13, 2016
Don't get cheap now.
Everyone telling me they will give me a million if they win......I am favoriting those tweets. That's a binding contract or something...— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) January 14, 2016
40 minutes til I win power ball burn down my house and wreck everything go to the Caribbean with all the blondes and the iron sheik— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) January 14, 2016
I also want Long Island to be its own state... How much would that cost?— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) January 14, 2016
First time I've ever bought #PowerBall tickets. $200=$1.6 billion sounds good. I would buy new... https://t.co/9tI5HTB39D— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) January 14, 2016
Announced yesterday (Jan. 13 2016)
Mickey Gall vs. Michael Jackson at UFC 196
Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb at UFC 197
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