Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier finally faced off for the second time at UFC 214 after several past attempts were called off due to injuries and scandals. In their first encounter back in 2015, Jones won a unanimous decision with all three judges giving him four of five rounds. But that didn’t really capture how close each round was. Cormier took Jones to the limit, and with Jon coming back after a two year period with only one fight, there were a lot of questions surrounding what kind of ‘Bones’ Jones we could expect upon his return.
While it’s hard to know where Jones would be now if drugs and partying hadn’t derailed his career, he looked pretty damn good tonight. Unfortunately for him, so did Daniel Cormier. It took three rounds of back and forth action between the two before a huge headkick from Jones staggered him across the cage. Jones smelled blood and barreled DC over, unleashing the kind of ground and pound you only see from someone who really doesn’t like the person he’s wailing on.
Referee Big John McCarthy gave Cormier all the chances in the world to roll out of the position, but that only led to him taking more damage. After the stoppage, it took Cormier a minute before he was able to get back to his feet and he had to be walked through what was going on and why the fight had been stopped.
“I know it hasn’t been easy to root for me,” an emotional Jones said after the fight. “But I want to thank all my fans so much for sticking with me … I want to think Daniel Cormier for being my biggest rival and motivator. He has no reason to hang his head … I aspire to be a lot more like that man.”
He also took the time to call out Brock Lesnar, whose potential UFC return has been getting more and more heat behind it as time goes on. Earlier in the week, Brock said he’d fight Jones anywhere, any time. And tonight Jones replied.