UFC 200 is nearly here, and the main event looks to be an exciting fight. UFC light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier faces interim and former champion, Jon “Bones” Jones, a man who never lost his belt in the cage, in a rematch. These two met back in 2015, with Jones taking a unanimous decision. The bad blood these two had for each other wasn’t settled that night, it was only amplified. Since then, with Jon’s various legal issues that resulted in him being stripped of his title, Cormier has taken shots on social media about the poor state of affairs that is Jones’ life. Meanwhile, Jon is all too happy to point out that Cormier isn’t a real champion.
Sometimes, though, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier aren’t engaging in petty sniping at one another online. In fact, sometimes, Jones and Cormier are downright cordial with one another. That’s because, inexplicable as it might seem, there are two pairs of Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. One pair are the two best 205 pound mixed martial artists on the planet. The other pair are two innocent tech guys, one a game developer, the other a coder for an anti-malware company, who frequently get roped into the first pair when angry people are too quick to tweet without checking the proper name.
We figured enough has been written about the first pair, and while the game developer, also known in some circles as Good Guy Jon Jones, has had some attention devoted to his struggles in sharing the same name with the most controversial man in MMA, Daniel Cormier, and the pair’s charming friendship, hasn’t been touched on.
The fighting version of these two men met under awkward circumstances, when Jon Jones proclaimed he could take down Cormier, an Olympic wrestler. There was awkwardness for Good Guy Jon Jones and The Real Daniel Cormier, but it was from a third party. “By my memory, it was a tweet from July 2014 where the Swedish affiliate for the Woodlawn Post, ‘The BEST in Urban News and Entertainment!’ announced in a tweet that @danielcormier was replacing an injured Alexander Gustafsson in a fight,” Jones said. “Impressively, whoever did social media there got all three names wrong. The internet isn’t a magical routing system, as though tweeting @MeanKidFromSecondGrade would actually find its way to the kid that shoved me around and stole my Lunchables. What a world that would be.”
Cormier is a little hazier on that initial meeting, adding, “Apparently I did tweet at him back in July 2014, but I had no idea who he was. I was just replying to someone who mistakenly tweeted at me.” Daniel’s first actual memory of Good Guy Jon Jones came later, in September 2015. “I went a lunch with a friend of mine (@chuckop). Somewhere in the conversation, my frequently mistaken identity came up. Charles mentioned that he saw an article about another tech guy mistaken for an MMA fighter. That other guy was, of course, @jonjones. Charles sent this tweet, and the rest is history,” he said.
Both men have remained far more cordial than their counter punching counterparts. Cormier was quick to warm to Jones, stating, “Well, his first tweet to me after I knew who he was was pretty good.”
Jones pinpoints the moment that solidified their friendship as, “When @danielcormier and I were tweeting adorable cat photos and stories back and forth, while Bones and DC were beefing loudly and publishing photos of each other with mean words written on their faces. Nothing says you’re a big famous tough punch-guy like scrunching up your face and letting someone write schoolyard insults on your cheeks. And nothing makes them look sillier than their geeky doppelgangers are talking about fuzzy little cat feet.”
On the subject of cats, both Daniel and Jon are proponents of rescue kitties, with Jones saying, “[R]escue cats in general are the cutest and the best! I have three and they changed my life. Check out the ASPCA to find cats to adopt near you today!”
Cormier added, “Like Jon, all three of my cats were rescues. We even both have handi-kitties. Rescue cats are fantastic. Why pay some breeder when there are so many cats out there already who need homes?” Not to cause a further rift between Good Guy Jon Jones and “Bones” Jones, it should be said that the UFC interim champ currently owns an exotic, expensive Serval Savannah cat.
When asked about the outcome of a meetup, there was more talk of a cat playdate than a fist fight. Jon said, “He’s in Florida and I’m in New York, and the logical halfway point to meet would be North Carolina, but that place is a tire fire right now. We’d have to figure out more neutral territory so we can determine once and for all, which of our rescue cats are pound-for-pound the fluffiest and cuddliest OF ALL TIME!”
However, Jones didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of a scuffle. “Until recently, I thought I wouldn’t have it in me to come to blows over anything. Then I asked @danielcormier what his favorite hot dog topping was, and he said he didn’t like hot dogs and that most were crap. Tempers flared. So help me god, if he dares imply that a hot dog is a sandwich, I’ll flatten him.
Then I’d take him out for stitches and ice cream.”
Cormier wasn’t too certain a fight for the ages would materialize, adding, “I have a feeling the first punch thrown would result in pain for both and we would back down pretty quick. Everyone would just be hilariously disappointed.” And neither man is big into fight sports to begin with, Jones said, “If I’m at a bar where a fight is on, or hanging out with friends that are fight fans, I’ll have a beer and watch along. I don’t really follow sports in general.”
Despite the sport not being popular among either man, both have come to the same conclusion, Jon Jones is winning. “I’ve got Bones on this one. People keep tweeting me saying DC is a “paper champ” which sounds like some kind of frail medical condition, and they call Jones a GOAT, which is a pretty sturdy animal when you think about it,” Jones said.
Cormier chimed in, “Going by the logic of a friend of mine who’s a skilled BJJ practitioner and actually pays some attention to MMA, whoever has the shortest average fight duration will likely win. I think last time I did the math on that, Jon Jones came out ahead. Honestly, if there’s good sportsmanship and neither fighter gives any reason for more hate against the other, that would be awesome. However, based on the tweets I’ve gotten, it seems that winning/losing is reason enough for more fan hate.”
Cormier says his Twitter account is blown up, “Not nearly as often as @jonjones, I’m sure. Several times a week, normally. When something big happens, it can be every few minutes (or more often) for hours. I did challenge a guy to a fight once. That was fun.”
Jones adds that he gets harassed, “Every time Bones has a fight or does something terrible, which is often. It’s less hate mail than it used to be. Lately, I find that groups of people refollow me in the wake of each self-inflicted disaster or lead up to his matches to see what happens, then unfollow me at the end of it. I’ve become a sideshow in a sport I don’t follow.”
However, despite this constant bombardments, Jones says of his Twitter handle, “For the most part, in digital-only environments, the only way to establish your identity was having a unique nickname attached to what you said and did. With the advent of the internet and social networks where names have to be unique, there’s some social value in having a simple, clean nickname or domain name on a popular website before anyone else can. You don’t have to add a number or change the spelling to get it (i.e. “PimpMasta420”), because you got in early. It’s kind of like a competition or a social pecking order.
“My name is horribly generic, but I’ve tried to stake claim to that name on every new social network I can to establish a consistent, cross-platform presence in which I own that name. With Twitter, I got pretty lucky. This is why I say no whenever anyone asks me if I’d ever sell it. That, and because I’m Bones’ idiot hate mail filter, and I don’t cost him anything. Pretty sweet deal… for him.”
Though neither man said it explicitly, I believe the one thing they hope people take away from this is that regardless of how angry you are, take a second to double check the name you’re tweeting at. The other thing, of course, is to opt for rescue pets.