Jon Jones Vs. Daniel Cormier Is The Only Fight You Need To See In 2015
At the root of every great fight lies a bitter rivalry, and this Saturday at UFC 182, one of the longest-brewing grudge matches will finally go down.
There’s bad blood between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, and we saw it culminate during an epic press conference brawl at the MGM Grand Casino back in August.
Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion who’s already hailed as the most dominant mixed-martial artist of this generation, will defend his title for the eighth straight time against his toughest opponent yet, former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier.
Make no mistakes about it, these two men absolutely hate each other. The war of words leading up to the match has not been pretty, and that’s the exact reason the Saturday night showdown is a must-watch.
The match was slated for September 27, but an injury, unfortunately, postponed the rumble to 2015.
Now, after months of waiting, the moment has finally arrived.
Jon Jones became the youngest UFC champion ever at 23 when he defeated Shogun Rua in 2011.
He would go on to dominate the light heavyweight division and defend his title an unprecedented seven times.
His eighth title defense match was a scheduled rematch against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 178.
But after Gustafsson sustained an injury, he was replaced by undefeated former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier.
Cormier immediately called Jones out after he defeated legend Dan Henderson at UFC 173.
He even made sure his challenge was heard on Twitter shortly after the match.
Hey champ, can we talk now? @JonnyBones
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) May 26, 2014
But their beef started long ago, after first meeting in 2010. According to Jones, it was all just one big misunderstanding.
Jones says he first broke the ice with Cormier while backstage in 2010 by making a joke.
Per Bloody Elbow, Jones said,
The whole story behind me and him is just so silly. I met him, and I came up to him with a big smile on my face.
He’s another black guy in the sport, and I felt the need to say hello to him, and I was just like, ‘Hey man, I hear you’re a great wrestler,’ and all this stuff, and he’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah, you don’t know who I am?’ I’m like, ‘No, I don’t know who you are, but my coaches were telling me that you wrestle on the Olympic level.’
And I was like, ‘I bet you that I could take you down.’
It was my way of trying to develop a new friendship, and he just took it so seriously, and he was just so offended that I didn’t know who he was, and from that moment on, he decided that there was a beef between us. I was just trying to reach out to him at that moment, and he just decided that there wouldn’t be a friendship between us.
It’s cool by me. If this guy has some kind of personal vendetta or chose to have a beef with me, it’s fine. It just kind of sucks because both of us being African American guys in the sport I think we should get along and respect each other, but that’s not the case.
According to Cormier, the incident went down a little differently.
During an interview with ESPN, Cormier said,
I didn’t expect Jon Jones to know who I was as an Olympian. I don’t expect Jon Jones to know any wrestlers.
He was the guy that was coming up to be the UFC champion. What I said was, ‘How do you break the ice by insulting someone?’ That’s the only problem I had.
It was the first time he and I ever interacted. He walked up to me, a very all individual.
He looked down on me and started to make derogatory comments towards me, talking about how he could take me down easy and stuff…You don’t even know who I am, guy!
Jon Jones was ecstatic when he found out his new opponent would be Daniel Cormier.
This is the fight I wanted in the first place. Nothing like fresh meat #Champion2014
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 24, 2014
Jones even slid into Cormier’s DMs just to give him a special little message.
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) July 24, 2014
Then, Jones’ daughter had something to say about all of this.
Cormier responded by unveiling his new t-shirt selection inspired by “Bones” Jones himself.
OK, as far as fighter T-shirts go, this is actually pretty clever: pic.twitter.com/CGiqls5G3i
— Dann Stupp (@DannStupp) July 24, 2014