UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has unfinished business with heated rival Jon Jones, and he isn’t going to let the former champ’s doping scandal stop him from avenging the only loss in his career.
Cormier and Jones have engaged in a near three-year feud that appeared to come to a screeching halt when Jones was popped for PEDs during UFC 200. Cormier ended up fighting Anderson Silva that night and was subsequently matched up with No. 1 contender Anthony Johnson for his second title defense.
The fight with Johnson fell apart due to injury and now Jones is set to return in July after resolving his case with USADA, which is much sooner than the two-year minimum ban typically placed on first-time offenders.
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So with Jones’ return essentially right around the corner, Cormier sees an opportunity in 2017 to right the only wrong he’s ever suffered as a professional fighter.
“My life and career would not be okay if I had to walk away and not share the Octagon with that man again.” Daniel Cormier said on “The Herd.”
Jones convincingly beat Cormier at UFC 182 in January 2015, winning all but one round on all three judge’s scorecards. The pair of top light heavyweights were scheduled to go at it again at UFC 197 until an injury forced Cormier from the card, and yet again at UFC 200, where Jones was infamously pulled from the card just days before due to the failed test.
Cormier, UFC president Dana White and even Jones himself were skeptical about his fighting future, but now that his return is on the horizon, “DC” says he’s down to make the fight again — even if Jones is still “being elevated by a performance-enhancing drug.”
“I’d fight him,” Cormier said. “If that was the case before, then the guy that I’m fighting next time is not going to be the same guy I saw the first time because of USADA and the drug testing that we are under now.
“But you know what, Colin, yes I would fight him. It doesn’t matter. I have to get the competitor in me and my belief in my coaches and my skill — I have to get that back.”
Cormier has reeled off three straight wins since his loss to Jones at UFC 182. But it’s clear, not getting his hand raised that night is burning a fire inside of him that he’s willing to extinguish it at any cost.