The feud between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier came into the limelight during the lead-up to their UFC 182 matchup, where they spewed expletives at each other on live TV and even exchanged blows in the lobby of the MGM Grand.
But according to interim champion Jones, the hostility between the pair of top light heavyweights started the very first day they crossed paths, years ago. Jones explained the run-in to our Andy Nesbit.
"Quite a few years ago, Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez were fighting and me and my entourage were backstage and Daniel was with his," Jones recalled. "And one of my guys said, ‘Hey, there’s Cain Velasquez’s wrestling coach.’ So me being the outgoing guy I can be, I thought I would go up to him and spark up a new friendship, so I said to him, ‘Hey, man. I hear you’re a wrestling coach. I bet I could take you down any day of the week.’ And he’s just like, ‘Oh yeah, like, do you know who I am?’ And I said, ‘You’re, like, a wrestling coach.’ And he’s like, ‘I’m actually an Olympian and you should know who you’re talking to, son.’ And all this type of stuff. I walked away thinking, ‘That was awkward.’"
Lesnar and Velasquez fought at UFC 121 in 2010, nearly five years before Cormier and Jones were matched up. But that didn’t stop them from turning what Jones called an "awkward" situation into one of the greatest feuds in UFC history.