Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier are not who you would call the best of friends. The two fighters have been feuding inside and outside of the octagon for years, with the two light heavyweights trading verbal jabs about the ownership of UFC's light heavyweight title belt.
Thanks to a host of personal problems ranging from legal woes to drug violations, Jones has been forced to cede opportunities to Cormier, who is the current champion for their division despite never having beaten Jones. But a rematch of the two fighters has been scheduled for July 29 at UFC 214, and the two are back butting heads accordingly.
After their fight was announced at the UFC's Summer Kickoff press conference, Cormier expressed skepticism at Jones being able to keep his act together long enough to step in the ring with him. Jones was happy to acknowledge his indiscretions, but he made it clear he feels Cormier is a paper champion:
CORMIER: So, I’m sitting here, and I see him. Like, I see him. He’s over there. But is he really going to be in Anaheim? Is this guy really going to go to the fight? Is this guy going to mess this up again by doing steroids or snorting cocaine or sandblasting prostitutes? What’s this guy going to do to mess this up this time?
JONES: Prostitutes? I beat you after a weekend of cocaine.
You can catch the full video of the presser up top—the quoted exchange begins around 4:26 in—and see Jones is unfazed by the tough talk coming from Cormier. Jones' fall from grace has been disappointing for such a dominant fighter, but he has a point, because while Cormier is the current champion of the division, he lost in a unanimous decision to Jones when they last fought at UFC 182. The current champion was only able to take the vacant title belt after Jones had his title stripped due to a hit-and-run incident in 2015.
Multiple attempts at a rematch have been aborted over the last couple years, once due to a foot injury for Cormier and once thanks to Jones being suspended for USADA violations. Each man sees the other as unworthy of the crown, either due to availability or fighting ability, and the bad blood will continue to simmer until they finally stand toe-to-toe for a second time. By the looks of things, they don't really want to wait until the scheduled fight:
Regardless of whose side you fall on here, the rematch remains one of the most anticipated fights in the sport. If UFC and Dana White can just manage to get both guys in the ring—and staying clean, of course—the fans will get to watch two big-time fighters who genuinely don't like each other. This sort of background can entice even the most casual of fight fans to tune in.
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