Lorenzo Fertitta chooses Daniel Cormier over Alexander Gustafsson for UFC 182 headliner against Jon Jones
the higher ups at ZUFFA have already assured Cormier that he will not lose his title fight.
"DC" broke it down during America's Pregame on FOX Sports 1:
"There were a lot of questions when I heard he was out of the fight. Remember, I replaced Alexander Gustafsson. When I heard Jon was hurt, now he and Gustafsson are now on the same schedule to be healthy. So my first question was, do I have to go back behind Gustafsson now, right? And I was assured it is going to be me in January, he's not going to take my place. Lorenzo Fertitta, the big boss said this is a fight we're keeping together. I was very concerned about that, I didn't want to lose my place in line. But to have this fight with a full training camp, six months to prepare and to know that I'm fighting Jon Jones. It can be a blessing, but I would be outside of myself to not say that I went into this fight with my knee pretty jacked up and I was going to fight through it to get a title."
Gustafsson calls UFC 'ridiculous' for valuing 'acting like clowns on a press conference' over 'the fight of the century'
Gustafsson is unhappy, though. Late last night he posted the following to Instagram, with the message "Apparently @ufc thinks that acting like clowns on a pressconference will hype a fight more than doing the fight of the century, thats ridiculous."
Facebook yesterday, "I just heard the news that Jones is injured and the fight is rescheduled to January 3???? Until then, I will be more than ready, it was MY fight to begin with and I WANT the fight as the number 1 contender. End of story!!"
Jon Jones’ Team Expects More Prepared Daniel Cormier to Have ‘No Excuses’ at UFC 182
“One positive I think there is, is [Cormier] was having a shorter camp,” Jackson-Wink assistant striking coach Brandon Gibson told Sherdog.com. “I’m sure he was going to be worried about getting in shape, and we didn’t want any excuses from him. This gives DC plenty of time to get better at every aspect he wants to get better at and heal whatever needs to heal.
“Because when we face him, we want to face the best DC there is. No excuses.”
Greg Jackson echoed a similar sentiment, although as the renowned trainer often does, he took a more diplomatic route to get there.
“If Jon is lucky enough to earn a victory over Cormier, he should be the best Cormier that you can possibly fight. That’s why you’re fighting. If you’re just fighting to win, you can fight bums all day long,” Jackson said. “If you’re trying to fight the best when they’re the best, that means a little more. The more training for Daniel, the better, and vice versa for Jon. [When] Daniel fights Jon it should be at Jon’s best. That’s the whole point of the thing.”
According to Jackson, the injury occurred while Jones was defending a takedown from UFC heavyweight talent Alistair Overeem during wrestling practice.
“It’s part of the game, it wasn’t like ... somebody went for a flying kick and dislocated [something]. Somebody went for a takedown, [Jones] stepped the wrong way, twisted the wrong way and down he went. He was fighting it, and he just twisted it. And then it just popped,” Jackson said.
"Alistair’s maybe 240, Jon’s 220. It’s not like he was working with a giant moose. It was just one of those things."
Although nearly five months remain until his rescheduled date with Cormier, Jones is likely to remain in New Mexico until that fight takes place instead of heading home to New York.
“We’re just going to continue to get better. There’s still a lot he can do even with his knee rehabbing, so the team is going to focus on some other things,” Gibson said. “Whether it’s just mental or visualization or doing rehab exercises. He’s gonna keep getting better.”
Of course, there will be limitations to what Jones can do -- at least early on.
“You can’t do any kickboxing, but we can work stuff off his back, stuff I wanted to work anyway,” Jackson said. “It just gives us more time.”
As for the conspiracy theorists who think there are ulterior motives behind Jones’ withdrawal? Well, Jackson has heard it all before, and at this point, the naysayers almost always fall on deaf ears.
“The important thing is I know [what happened]. I know he’s not ducking him. I was there when the injury happened,” Jackson said. “That’s all I need. There’s always theories. That’s sports; that’s entertainment.”