The UFC held the Summer Kickoff press conference last week to promote the slate of upcoming events scheduled over the next few months, and while many notable things happened, the event belonged to the continued rivalry between UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Cormier seemed to revel in engaging Jones in a war of words, calling the former champion “junkie” and questioning whether Jones would make it to fight night or if he would “mess this up again by doing steroids or snorting cocaine or sandblasting prostitutes.” It was an enormous departure from Cormier’s usually buttoned up approach to trash talk but to hear the champ tell it, this is how it’s going to be or him with Jones from now on.
“Why?” Cormier told Brett Okamoto on the 5ive Rounds podcast this week. “Even after UFC 200 I didn’t go and just start ripping Jon after that fight happened and I had to fight Anderson [Silva] under those circumstances. I took the high road, as I’ve done on a number of occasions. But why? Why should I still continue to do this because I feel as though the things that he’s done have not only affected him but it does really affect me, not only financially but it’s affected negatively on my career at this point.”
Jones is the only man to ever beat Cormier inside the cage and because Cormier earned the belt without ever defeating Jones, many fans do not view his title reign as legitimate. When Cormier has the opportunity to rematch Jones at UFC 200, the former champion failed a pre-fight drug test just days before the event, costing Cormier an opportunity for redemption as well as potentially costing him pay-per-view dollars. Because of this, Cormier believes he is well within the bounds of proper conduct to take shots at Jones, especially because he maintains that everything he says is true.
“It’s not like this is anything that’s untrue. Everything I say is really true. I’m not saying anything that I’m just making up. All this stuff is true. So if the truth hurts, then don’t let that be your truth anymore. But it’s just the truth so if I want to tell the truth, everybody doesn’t have to like my truth, because I know it.”
Cormier isn’t strictly speaking in pure facts though. The champion has also recently speculated that Jones has been a frequent user of PEDs and that though USADA accepted Jones’ defense of tainted sex pills being the cause of his failed drug test, Cormier believes Jones history belies that idea.
“I said yesterday that a person that would do something negative to themselves right before a fight would be willing to do something that would help him going into a fight. That’s just my thought, that’s my opinion. Also, I just don’t feel like the things that, from our first fight, the month before, I don’t know if it’s hormones or testosterone levels were all jacked and turned around. We’re up in the Bay Area and Javier [Mendes, head coach at American Kickboxing Academy] knows that Victor Conte guy and that guy was talking to Jav and Jav was repeating all this stuff to me about levels and how it points to some pretty shifty stuff but I just let it go. I lost the fight. Whatever, you won.
“But to go out there and put on all this muscle before you fight Ovince [Saint Preux], physically he looked better than I’d ever seen him look - physically, to the blind eye -and then fight a little lethargic, a little slow, he seemed a little less sure of himself than he did before. Then to come back the next fight and have all the things that would be found if someone was trying to mask something, with all the history, I say yeah. I feel like the Ovince Saint Preux fight he said, ‘you know, USADA’s around, I should probably do this clean.’ So he did it with the weight lifting and when he didn’t feel as himself in that fight, I feel he said, ‘I don’t want to lose to Daniel so I’m just gonna chance it,’ and he tried to chance it and he got caught. That’s my thought.”
The UFC have been struggling promotionally this year with Conor McGregor on the sideline, and a swath of underwhelming main events, so far so this shift from Cormier to a more aggressive talker is a welcome development. Moreover, while other grievances between fighters can come off as contrived, the dislike between Cormier and Jones is abundantly clear so Cormier’s new, more personal attacks are promotional gold.
And Cormier isn’t done yet. With the fight still months away, the light heavyweight champion seems intent on waging long-term psychological warfare on Jones.
“I’ve saved a little bit. You can’t just throw it all out there, you’ve got to let some stuff linger for a little bit.”
Daniel Cormier defends his UFC light heavyweight championship in a rematch with Jon Jones at UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif.
Free fight from UFC Espanol.
Rankings Report with Miesha Tate.
Strong advice, DC.
Also, well look at that, Dana lied? That’s weird, he’s definitely never done that before.
This is old but incredible.
Floyd update on the situation (this was before Dana’s announcement).
Cowboy on TMZ with a very laissez-faire take on Jon Jones.
Heavy Hands. Gushing about Miocic and Joanna Blessed Mother of Violence.
The MMA Circus. Surprise, surprise, the king is back. And a ton of interviews.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Impossibly awful. Condolences.
Conor looks like he’s enjoying fatherhood.
And yet the UFC can’t figure out how to promote this man.
Lando wants back in August.
Gotta respect Brooks not looking for an easy rebound.
I need a bounce back fight and August is perfect timing for me. You want this work? https://t.co/pKTmEd8UJo— Will Brooks (@ILLxWillBrooks) May 18, 2017
A strange beef arose last night. And I may be biased but Jucao would dump truck Cody and Cody fans acting like he wouldn’t are insane.
.@jucao you elf looking mfer! Go cry somewhere else they don't even train together his words not mine, survival of the fittest!— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) May 18, 2017
Stop blaming @Cody_Nolove I'm a grown man and said it was an easy fight! Diego whooped me and taught me a lesson and I'm stronger bc of it!— Hayder Hassan (@HayderHassan) May 18, 2017
Brando Mamana KO's Adi Paryanto at One Pride MMA #3 in Indonesia. Mental note: Never get hit by something like this. pic.twitter.com/giKbZaafco— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 17, 2017
Considering MRSA often hangs out in the nose, doing this pseudo-medicine garbage in a gym seems like a horrible idea.
This is captivating to watch.
Serious question, y’all think Dana knew who Rosa was off hand?
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
1989: Shooto held its first professional event which featured all seven bouts ending by submission.
Unofficial update on the Doomsday clock for McGregor-Mayweather: 30 minutes to midnight. By finalizing McGregor’s end, Dana has done enough to insulate himself from criticism that he “didn’t try to make the fight” but wrapping up Mayweather is an entirely different animal. This thing is still a loooooong way from being done and Dana has said that he’s not incentivized to try super hard to get this done. Ultimately, I still don’t think this fight is happening.
That’s all for today folks. Happy Thursday and see y’all tomorrow.
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