Thursday, August 18, 2022

Daniel Cormier Ready to Wash Off ‘Stench’ of Jon Jones Loss at UFC 220

UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has reiterated that he is not yet comfortable with his position at the top of the division

For Cormier, the confusion surrounding the fall out of his UFC 214 loss to Jon Jones is still giving him ‘nightmares’.

The 38-year-old is set to defend the strap he re-acquired following Jones’ positive test for banned substances (which led to his subsequent stripping of the title) against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 220 in January. There was some doubt that Oezdemir would be eligible to fight for his first shot at UFC gold but the promotion has cleared the Swiss for that bout, much to the nonchalance of Cormier.

Oezdemir’s legal troubles pertaining to an alleged barroom assault threatened to further disrupt the direction of the UFC’s 205-pound division which has been plagued by controversy and uncertainty in recent years. Cormier told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s Episode of the MMA Hour (via MMAFighting) that he was not investing too much emotion in his next opponent, whether it was Oezdemir or someone else:

“I just kinda was like, just move onto the next guy,” Cormier said. “If it’s going to be somebody else, it’s going to be somebody else. I really don’t have any energy anymore for all these guys’ extracurriculars anymore. If you’re going to go to jail, go to jail — who gives a damn? If you’re going to get yourself in trouble, you get yourself in trouble. I didn’t do it. Whatever. I’ll just go onto the next guy. I’m not going to deal with that anymore.

“I feel like I have lost years of my life dealing with the sh*t with Jones, in terms of the arguments, the fighting, the worry, whether we’re going to fight, when we’re going to fight. I’ve lost a lot of time and energy just wasted on things that were out of my control. So if Volkan Oezdemir goes to jail, if Alexander Gustafsson does something and gets himself put in trouble, I’ll just move onto the next one. That’s what it’s going to constantly be for me. At this point, they’re all faceless until fight night, whenever we’re standing across the Octagon from each other. It’s just a name, and whoever that name happens to be is who I’m going to fight.”

Cormier’s eagerness to get the job done against Oezdemir is in a major way driven by a desire to shake off his loss to Jones at UFC 214:

“My mentality hasn’t changed in that sense,” Cormier said in reference to his belief that he will not find comfort until he has avenged what he still feels was a loss, regardless of Jones’ positive test for Turinabol.

“On July 29th, I was there. I was in the Octagon on July 29th in Anaheim, and it was going all so good until it wasn’t anymore, and I lost the fight. So that has not changed. So I need to go out and fight against Volkan Oezdemir and beat this guy to feel like myself again. I feel like there is a stench on me. It’s almost like I got pissed on by a skunk, and I just stink everywhere I go. So until I can get a really, really good bath … to get the stink off of me by beating Volkan Oezdemir, I’ll feel as I do right now. That’s just me. I’m a competitor, man. I know I lost that fight. I can’t erase that memory. I still have nightmares.”

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