A good old fashioned donnybrook broke out at Monday's UFC 178 media day inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where UFC was promoting its Sept. 27 showdown between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and number one contender Daniel Cormier. After order was restored, the two made a brief visit on ESPN's SportsCenter (watch it here), but there was still one more television appearance left for both fighters that was to take place a few hours later.
A little after midnight eastern time, the two fighters -- this time separated -- joined Kenny Florian on the set of FOX Sports Live.
Take a look:
Both Jones and Cormier rehashed what already transpired and most of the MMA world had already seen due to the viral video of the staredown gone awry earlier in the day.
For the first few minutes it was more or less a "he said, she said" referendum on what took place at the MGM Grand. Both fighters were contrite and apologized for their actions, once again, to the UFC, the MGM Grand and also to the fans. The almost 20-minute segment was trudging along and becoming quite redundant, before things finally got interesting after Florian asked Jones if the altercation fueled his motivation even further.
"Me being in the position I am... I’ve fought for many world titles and to be in my position, it’s always important to find things to motivate you, to always have something to light that fire under your butt," the champion said. "Facing a new opponent in Daniel Cormier, there was a great deal of excitement for me and newfound motivation for me. But this, this gives me a feeling of almost like my first time fighting again. There are certain characters that you just cannot afford to lose to: Chael Sonnen, Rashad Evans, my first fight against Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua. These were some of the fights where my motivation was just at an all-time high and after this situation I couldn’t imagine not coming away with my belt. This is a must-win situation. This is exactly the fight that I needed and sure enough people, expect some malicious and violent things to happen on September 27."
Cormier fired back saying, "That’s actually the beauty in it. He said he’s as motivated as his first title fight. Well, this is my first title fight, so that’s my motivation Jon. You can say that there’s going to be malicious things happening on September 27… I embrace that. I embrace that. Bring it to me. Meet me in the center of the Octagon."
"I am going to bring that to you," Jones assured him."
The champion seemed to be trying to pick his words carefully as if to make a bold statement to Cormier, issuing a warning to the challenger.
"I am going to bring that to you. I’m going to bring everything in my power to make sure you never forget the night you stepped in the Octagon with me.
"And you know what is going to be your sad reality is that everything in your power will not be enough because I’m still going to beat you," an unfazed Cormier replied.
"We'll see," Jones sneered.
Just when it was starting to get heated up, Florian inexplicably switched topics to ask about Jones' manager, Malki Kawa, and his involvement in the brawl, followed by getting Cormier's reaction to Jones video on Instagram that was released shortly after the incident took place.
And lastly, he read the statement that was released by UFC brass earlier in the day that possible fines and punishments were likely imminent.
Cormier said the back and forth on social media is all well and good, but at UFC 178, he and Jones will have to meet in the Octagon and all the talk will no longer matter.
"Jon and I can do stuff on Instagram. We can poke fun of each other on Twitter. We can build a fight, but at the end of the day, they are going to lock the cage with him and I in it, and we get to settle our differences. And we are not going to do it once. We are going to do it twice, because I am going to beat him in September and then we are going to fight again at the beginning of the year and then he will realize that he never wants to get locked in the cage with me again."
The former Olympic wrestler also explained to Florian how Jones has never faced the caliber of athlete that he is and brought up how he has competed in wrestling his whole life.
Jones made light of Cormier's comments, his credentials, and his skill set as a mixed martial artist.
"I've foughten (sic) many great fighters before. I've foughten (sic) many great wrestlers before, and there is a big difference between a great wrestler who knows how to throw some punches and kicks and a martial artist," Jones stated. "I embody the spirit of a martial artist, the heart of a martial artist and what it truly means to be a martial artist. I'll give up my arm. I'll give up an eye. I'll give up a toe. It doesn't matter to me. There's nothing you can do to stop me Daniel Cormier. There is absolutely nothing you can do."
Cormier tried to intervene, but Jones insisted saying, "please let me finish." To which Cormier relented.
"You said you could take me down 100 times out of 100 times and that's what you are going to do right?" Jones said. "I challenge you to take me down five times in that five-round fight. You won't be able to do it. Maybe you will get me down once, but I believe in my whole heart that I will get you down too and the difference is when I get you down, your face will open up. There is nothing you can do to stop me from coming at you round after round with the most malicious techniques I know. You will lose this fight Daniel Cormier. I want you to believe it. Every ounce of training you put in to train for this fight will be a waste of your life."
"That is great," Cormier said. "I'm glad that he feels that way. This is what I want. I want a dog fight. If you can bring a dog fight, please do it? I live for it. Please do it."
"You've seen it," Jones said in reference to his UFC 165 battle with Alexander Gustafsson.
"I've praised you for that, but again, I've never had to show that because nobody can test me in that way," Cormier boasted. "It's going to look easy. It's going to look easy and people are going to be scratching their heads."
Not to be out done with the verbal warfare, Jones made light of Cormier's two victories in the light heavyweight division and one of his biggest wins as a heavyweight.
"You have a sense of security in beating Dan Henderson, a guy who is almost 50 years old," said Jones. "Patrick Cummins, a guy who is only 4-0. Josh Barnett at the end of his career. You have not tasted what I have to offer and you will see it. You will see it."