LAS VEGAS — Life after Jon Jones started on Saturday night as Daniel Cormier earned a unanimous decision win over former middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 200.
Cormier faced Silva after Jones was pulled from the card on a doping violation after he returned a positive drug test that landed him in hot water with USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and potentially the Nevada State Athletic Commission as well.
In Jones’ absence, Cormier faced Silva — who took the fight on two days notice — and put on a dominant performance over three rounds to get the victory.
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With another win under his belt, Cormier is now forced to face the reality that Jones could be suspended for up to two years as a result of this infraction and as much as the light heavyweight champion wants revenge from their previous fight, he also can’t sit around and wait for him to return.
Well, I’m not going to wait for him for two years. I’m 37. But I’ll probably fight the winner of (Anthony) "Rumble" (Johnson) and Glover Teixeira. It just seems like it makes the most sense. Those guys are all well deserving.
— Daniel Cormier
"Those guys are all well deserving. They won fights in a row and both of them deserve title shots."
As far as Jones goes, Cormier would certainly want a rematch with him whenever he returns to action, but for right now he can’t address that uncertainty considering no one knows what kind of punishment he might face as a result of this positive drug test.
If Jones really does end up sitting out for two years, Cormier will have to move forward to defend his title multiple times before the former champion could even be eligible to return.
Cormier believes for now Jones just needs to worry about his own future in the sport and when he’s cleared to fight again, then they can focus on each other.
"I think we need to kind of see what happens with Jon, kind of let him get through that and see what’s going to happen next. With all that’s going on right now, his focus can’t be fighting right now, it’s got to be figuring this out," Cormier said.
With Jones out of the picture, Cormier did manage to pick up a win over arguably the greatest fighter of all time in Silva in a three-round battle.
Throughout the fight, Cormier suffered through more than a few jeers from the Las Vegas crowd and as much as he wanted to make the bout with Silva an audience-pleasing affair, he also needed to get a win more than anything else.
In the end, that’s what Cormier did and he’s not going to complain about it.
"I can’t really pay attention to that anymore. First time it happened, I kind of got angry, I was upset, I tried to explain that it didn’t make any sense, but now I can’t really try and dictate people’s emotions. I can only take care of what I can take care of," Cormier said about the boos from the crowd.
"People don’t understand the situation that I’ve been in over this past week. For me to go out there and get a victory over someone like Anderson Silva, that’s enough for me."