UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones are set to fight for the second time at UFC 214 on July 29th. But if it seems like the two have done enough jawing at each other for four fights, that’s because this is the fourth time a fight between them has been booked. The first went down as planned, ending with Jones defeating Cormier by dominating decision. But the original rematch in April of 2016 was cancelled after Daniel injured his foot. The subsequent attempt at the fight at UFC 200 exploded last second after Jones failed a drug test over off brand erection pills.
It’s because of all that drama following UFC 200 that Cormier feels justified in ripping Jones a new one every time they meet in public. At the big UFC Summer Kickoff event, he tossed a water bottle at Jon and asked “Is he really back? Are you back junkie? … 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?”
This has led some people to criticize Cormier for attacking a victim of addiction. As you’d expect, Cormier says nuts to that.
“These things are so public. These instances are so public,” Cormier said on The Luke Thomas Radio Show (via MMA Junkie). “If he was doing all this stuff to himself and by himself and not affecting people, I probably wouldn’t say anything. But his indiscretions and mess ups have greatly influenced my career too, in the way I’m perceived. A lot of people may say ‘Well, you would never be the champion if he didn’t do those things.’ Maybe he would’ve beat me again, but we would’ve fought already to decide that.”
“But even though I am champion, because of the things that he’s done to get in that situation, people never really, truly respect me as they should. Not only are they not respecting me as they should, they’re discrediting everything I have done. So, it’s not off limits. And my whole thing is this. Some guy said this to me: ‘Daniel, if you knew the struggle, you would never say the things you say.’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t know the struggle, because I know how dangerous it is. So I don’t mess with it.’ … You’re not born with addiction issues. You make the choice to start to mess with that.”
There’s also the suspicion many people have that Jones’ latest drug failure for ‘dick pills’ was actually something more sinister. As noted when the failure became public, the drugs Jones tested positive for (clomiphene and letrozole) are both post-cycle drugs used to mitigate the negative side effects of steroids. While USADA bought Jones’ excuse that he had foolishly taken a Cialis-like pill from his teammate containing the drugs, that ignores the fact that this same teammate had also bought clomiphene on its own.
“If you’re willing to do that right before a fight, and that’s something that can be detrimental to you going forward, why wouldn’t you do something that could help you?” Cormier asked rhetorically. “That’s my philosophy. I could be wrong. I do believe that this dude has been cheating his entire life, though. Why not?”
He’ll have a chance to express himself with his fists rather than his words when the long awaited rematch with Jones goes down July 29th. Provided, of course, both fighters make it to the date uninjured without another scandal going down.