LA MIRADA, Calif. — Jon Jones isn’t gunning for a quick knockout against Daniel Cormier. No, not at all. The former UFC light heavyweight champion is hoping for a different kind of end to the UFC 214 main event.
He’s looking for a tap out.
“The goal here is to finish the fight,” Jones said Thursday at UFC Gym. “I want to be the first person who makes DC quit inside that Octagon. I believe with all my heart that it’s gonna happen.”
Cormier, the UFC light heavyweight champion, said Wednesday night in a sit-down interview with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that he saw more doubt in Jones’ eyes during a press conference staredown than he ever had before. Jones laughed that off Thursday, calling it “crazy.”
Actually, Jones said, it was Cormier that showed a certain side of himself during the faceoff. Jones said Cormier only started advancing on him when he had his backed turned and was walking away. Then UFC president Dana White put his hand on Cormier’s chest, Jones said, and Cormier stopped.
“As I started to to walk away, then he pretended like he was coming after me,” Jones said. “What a coward ass move, right? You get no points for following a man who can’t see you. It’s not like he chased me.”
Jones was incredulous that Cormier believed that he witnesses doubt.
“It’s hysterical,” Jones said. “How do you see doubt in my eyes? I think Daniel tries to create realities that aren't true. I don’t know.”
Jones defeated Cormier at UFC 182 in January 2015. He was then suspended and stripped of his belt by the UFC after a felony hit-and-run arrest three months later. Cormier won the vacant title in May 2015 by beating Anthony Johnson and has held it ever since.
Outside of the light heavyweight title and them being two of the best fighters in MMA history, Jones and Cormier have a rivalry that goes deep. They once got into a brawl at a press event in Las Vegas. They have exchanged very raw, harsh language over the years. There is no love lost.
The first time they fought, Jones said, there were questions. Neither had really lost before. Cormier was undefeated and Jones’ lone defeat was — and remains — a controversial disqualification early in his UFC run.
Now, though, in Jones’ mind those questions have been answered. He doesn’t just want to prove he’s better than Cormier again; he wants to one up himself.
“There will be no grudge matches, there will be no trilogy,” Jones said. “Daniel Cormier is not my rival. I have no problem with him.
“It’s gonna be way more dominant. I expect way more out of myself.”