Daniel Cormier won’t come right flat out and say the same about his fight with Jones at UFC 182, which Jones won by unanimous decision. But he believes Jones was looking for an artificial edge in their scheduled UFC 200 rematch, and that he has no choice but to be clean when they meet in Anaheim for UFC 214 on July 29.
“You heard Alexander Gustafsson now is saying he believes that Jon was enhanced throughout his career,” Cormier said Wednesday on FOX Sports 1. “But before, we had no sanctioning body like USADA. USADA now is on top of all that, so I do believe that we will see a different fighter in Anaheim, because I do believe he’ll have to be clean this time, otherwise he’ll be caught.”
“I think he fought Ovince Saint Preux clean, and he didn’t like the way he felt, and tried to do something again dirty and he got caught at UFC 200,” Cormier said.
Jones was suspended the week of UFC 200 after an out-of-competition drug test showed he had tested positive for two banned substances. He was ultimately suspended for a year after an independent arbitration process, and the Cormier bout will mark his return fight.
Cormier isn’t about to overlook Jones’ outstanding skill set. But he believes we’ll see a different Jones under USADA’s watch than the one who tore through five former world champions in a row during his run to the top.
“I think he will still be very tough, because he has a ton of skill, he’s very quick, he’s very long, he’s got a lot of physical advantages that a lot of us don’t have,” Cormier said. “I think what you will see is he will be a little more tentative, he may not be as aggressive as in some places. ... I think you’ll see is a guy in the beginning of his career where he actually started to tire. He got tired just beating on Stephen Bonnar.”