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Morning Report: Daniel Cormier: ‘If it was up to me, I’d just keep fighting Jon Jones over and over again’

Daniel Cormier (EL, MMAF)

After a sparse 2016, UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is finally set to get back in the Octagon and defend his 205-pound title in a rematch with the man he beat to take the vacant title, Anthony Johnson. The two were originally scheduled to fight at UFC 206 but a groin injury forced Cormier to withdraw and the fight has since been rescheduled for UFC 210 on April 8th. But it isn’t exactly the fight Cormier wants.

In an interview with The Luke Thomas Show yesterday, Cormier said that while he’s happy to be getting back in the cage against “Rumble,” if he had his druthers he would fight Jon Jones a few more times.

“I’d like to fight [Jon Jones]. I’d like to fight him all the time. I’ve always said that. If it was up to me I’d just keep fighting him over and over again.”

Cormier and Jones matched up for the light heavyweight title in 2015, with Jones winning a clear decision. It’s the lone blemish on Cormier’s otherwise perfect record and it’s a fight he’s been desperate to re-litigate ever since. Unfortunately for Cormier, that hasn’t been possible as Jones has been beset by a series of outside the cage issues which have left him unable to compete for most of the last two years. Jones is currently serving a suspension for a failed drug test from USADA and is eligbile to return to competition in July and Cormier says that if the UFC and Jones want to plug him right back into the title picture, Cormier doesn’t mind but that it will be on the champion’s schedule.

“It’s very difficult to say that he doesn’t get a title shot because of who he is. For him competitively, he probably should fight somebody first because it’s been so long in between fights but I just don’t know if he’ll be granted that opportunity. I fight in April, July is when he comes back. If he wants to fight right back in July, that would be a pretty quick turn around for me... So he would essentially have to end up waiting for me which would put him more time on the shelf, or he would try to fight before.”

But before Cormier gets another shot at Jones, he first has to beat one of the most dangerous men in combat sports. Though Cormier won their first fight, Anthony Johnson dropped him early in the first round and has, since then, put together three Performance of the Night knockouts over three top ten opponents. A tall task to be sure, but one Cormier believes is still less difficult than fighting Jones again.

“I’m not really worried about what Anthony Johnson does. I have to worry about what I do to prepare myself. If I can be completely honest with you, the only guy that I actually watch what he does - try to game plan for him specifically - is [Jon] Jones. Because I know that against the rest of those guys my skills will outweigh their skills in the fight.

“I have to be specifically prepared for Jones because his skill set is so diverse and so unique, whereas Anthony is a big puncher, a big kicker. There are ten guys in the division like that. You don’t see many Jon Jones’s. Every heavyweight punches hard like Anthony does. Every 205 pounder’s fast. There are a lot of guys that mimic his type of style whereas there’s only one Jones so I feel like he’s the only guy that I specifically game plan for.”

But with Jones not a viable option for Cormier, Johnson is the next best thing: a clear number one contender and, more importantly, a chance for Cormier to get back to doing what he loves, fighting.

“I’m excited. Just last year was a very, very tough year, having to pull out of two fights, only getting to fight once. I usually fight a lot. 2015 I fought three times, I fought three of the best guys in the entire world. And last year, to only get one fight in, a three-round fight at that, it was tough. I feel excited now because I get to go back and do what I love to do, which is fight.”


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Take it easy and see y’all Monday.

If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.

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