Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson are set to run it back at UFC 210 this weekend (Sat. April 8, 2017) in Buffalo, N.Y., which is where embattled former 205-pound champion, Jon Jones, once called home (and is now selling his house).
It’s a pay-per-view (PPV) event that could very well have featured “Bones” headlining had he not failed a drug test prior to UFC 200, ultimately resulting in the cancellation of his rematch against “DC.” The transgression also resulted in Jones receiving a one-year suspension, which is set to expire in a few months.
For Cormier, Jones’ absence on the card is just another reminder of why the former champion — who has had his fair share off incidents outside the fighting arena — isn’t where he should be.
“It’s so ironic to say that you’d rather fight here than at Madison Square Garden. But, you can’t because you tested positive, or you ran over some lady or you did something to make sure you can’t do the one thing you want to do. It’s crazy. It’s really not that hard to stay out of trouble,” Cormier told MMA Fighting during today’s media day festivities.
While Jones won’t be fighting, his presence will be felt, as he is in Buffalo enjoying the festivities and will take in a solo special media scrum on Friday.
“But, he is going to be here, which in itself is crazy. I am very (surprised). If I was suspended for anything, especially for something that — whatever it may have said to be — and I’m still suspended there is no way I’m out in public. I’m staying home, I lick my wounds until my suspension is done and then I come back out.
“I think that says a lot about your character,” he continued. “Because are you truly sorry for what you did if your willing to prance around even though your actually still under suspension? You can’t talk to me about a fight against Jon Jones because he is not eligible. When your eligible, we can talk.”
Furthermore, “DC” took a shot at Jones and his management team for agreeing to an after party, a move the puzzles the 205-pound champion given Jones’ checkered past with alcohol.
“And then, I’m going down the street and I see a poster of an afterparty. What genius did that? What genius decided to give Jon Jones, a recovering alcoholic, an afterparty? Who does that? Great Job, Malki. Awesome work, buddy.”
Still, Cormier says he’s not really bothered by Jones’ presence, but didn’t hold back in saying that it reeks of desperation, likening “Bones” to an old high school athlete who is trying to reclaim his glory days.
“It doesn’t bother me, I just think it’s desperate — very desperate,” Cormier said. “He’s like the old quarterback who was super-successful in high school and he comes back to the parties with his jacket on. You should be fighting here, not walking around with your varsity jacket on with your four state championships.”
Jones is lined up to face the winner of Cormier vs. Johnson, according to Dana White, so his presence in New York -- other than it being his home state — could be a sign of a big announcement by the promotion this Friday afternoon or once the dust settles at UFC 210.