When you talk about a fighter getting into another fighter's head I don't think there's a better example of former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, two men who like one another about as much as oil likes water.
The two bickered furiously today (Friday, March 4, 2016) during the UFC Unstoppable press conference from inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
And when I say bickered, it was more like Jones burrowing deep under the skin of Cormier like a tick to a deer.
It all started when Jon Jones said that his felony hit and run accident last year changed him as a man and that he isn't the same person he was last year.
"I'm on a mission to prove to the world that you can get back on your feet after almost anything if you don't give up on yourself," said Jones. "I know that in order to prove that defeating Cormier is going to be a big part of that so I have no reason to not like him right now. I took his undefeated record, I'm going to take his belt. I'm going to take my belt back and I got no problem with him."
Cormier didn't seem to like that, leading to this exchange:
Cormier: For the record, an hour ago Jon called me the lamest, biggest pussy he had ever met in his entire life. So believe what you want but he's lying to you guys again.
Jones said he couldn't hear him so Cormier repeated his question.
Cormier: I'm the biggest lamest pussy you've ever met?
Jones: Are you the biggest pussy?
Cormier: Am I the biggest pussy you've ever met and you want me to suck your dick like you told me?
Jones: Oh yeah. (laughing)
Cormier: Is that what you told me? Is this not real now? Are we pretending?
Jones: No, you are the biggest pussy I've ever seen. For sure.
Cormier: Ok. Are we pretending again? Hey, because I know what you said to me over here.
Jones: What, that I said you're going to forever be my pussy?
Cormier: Ok, we'll see. I like it Jon. I like it. But I want you to actually be honest with these people as you are with me. That's all I want.
Jones taunted Cormier the entire press conference, later saying "careful, Daniel, you're getting emotional." The champ then accused Jones of being emotional, saying he was trying to fight his training partners in the back before the press conference.
These two went at it last year at UFC 182, with Jones defending his belt during a fairly dominant 49-46 unanimous decision over the formerly undefeated Cormier. But since Jones was stripped of his belt due to his run in with the law, Cormier stepped in to fight Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 for the undisputed light heavyweight championship.
Cormier then defended his belt against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192, winning a split decision over the hard luck Swede who owns losses to both men.
The score is set to be settled at UFC 197 on April 23, 2016 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.