Daniel Cormier will rematch Stipe Miocic at next weekend’s UFC 241, but somehow, the conversation always goes back to Jon Jones.
Heavyweight champion “DC’s” rivalry with Jones is a well-documented one. Their hatred dates back to their infamous press conference brawl in 2014. The two eventually fought at UFC 182 in early 2015, with “Bones” taking home a unanimous decision victory. Jones went through a long period of outside-the-cage troubles, however. That resulted in Cormier winning and defending the UFC light heavyweight title.
The troubled great Jones finally returned to win the title back by knocking out Cormier at July 2017’s UFC 214. Yet he was stripped of the belt after testing positive for anabolic steroid turinabol. So once again, Cormier was the champ at 205 pounds. ‘DC’ later added to his legendary legacy by becoming the heavyweight champion at July 2018’s UFC 226. Meanwhile, Jones won back the title he never lost late last year after Cormier vacated it.
Cormier Can’t Find Peace With Jones
He’s defended it twice since, beating Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos by decision this year. While ‘DC’ is headed for a second bout with Miocic, more people still want to see him fight ‘Bones’ a third time. Cormier has remained a bit coy on the topic. But he seemed to reveal some true emotion in a preview for a segment set to air on ESPN’s “E:60” (via MMA Junkie). In the brief video, he called Jones a rival for life:
“When you tell a man you’re going to kill him, there’s no peace. It’s always going to be this.”
Cormier is referring to Jones’ threat during a television interview that “Bones” thought was off-air following their first dust-up in 2014. “DC” said he would spit directly in Jones’ face. Jones responded he would “literally kill” Cormier if he attempted to do so. There’s little doubt this rivalry is one of the most heated in UFC history. For what it’s worth, it seems the beef between the two UFC superstars is genuine.
Rivalry Ramping Back Up?
Now, those sentiments have seemed to wane in recent years. Both fighters have downplayed the discord directed at the other at different points, mostly in the direct aftermath of a big win over another fighter. In the ESPN segment, however, Cormier admitted any news claiming he did not despise Jones is just not true:
“I don’t like him,” Cormier insists. “We’ve never liked each other, and for anybody to tell you anything different is a lie.”
While the all-time great fighters’ disdain has indeed dropped off somewhat in recent years, fans will be yelling loudly for a trilogy fight if Cormier gets past Miocic a second time. “Bones” has won three straight title fights at 205, simply making the trilogy collision one of the bigger fights the UFC has at this point.
So the hatred that lies in Cormier’s back pocket may be good from a pure fight promotion standpoint. The ESPN “E:60” segment chronicling Cormier’s life and career debuts on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. EST.