There have been countless rivalries in mixed martial arts (MMA) that have entertained fight fans throughout the years. But none of them come close to that of current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier and former division ruler Jon Jones.
The two have been at each other’s throats for years now, and despite the fact that the two have already thrown down inside the Octagon, it has done little to cool the heat between them. If anything, it only intensified it, as they were still swinging after the bell rang at UFC 182.
Now, after several setbacks, Jones and Cormier are set to run it back in the main event of UFC 214 on July 29, 2017 in Anaheim, California. And to hear “Bones” tell it, once the dust settles and he gets his second win over “DC,” he is willing to let bygones by bygones, stick out his hand, and call a truce.
Under one condition.
“This rivalry ends at UFC 214 and after [the fight] I honestly have no problem with Daniel Cormier,” Jones said during a recent fascinating and in-depth interview with Flo Combat. "If he wants to be friends, be a sportsman and realize I'm just the better fighter, that would be great. It would show a lot about who he is. I doubt he'll do that though, based on how he acted the first time I beat him,” added Jones.
Jon, though, is already prepared to hear some kind of excuse from Cormier should he prove victorious against him, perhaps even citing that his training camp wasn’t all that great leading up to the much-anticipated rematch.
"I'd be willing to bet the house he's going to come up with some kind of excuse or reason why he lost this fight. I have friends who are all over social media and they tell me both Luke Rockhold and Cain Velasquez have been injured and haven't been training a lot. I really hope he really doesn't use that as an excuse,” said Jones.
Still, if Jon had his way, Cormier would finally be honest with himself and realize that at the end of the day, he is his superior.
"I'm hoping he can finally look himself in the mirror and say, 'Goddammit...maybe I should have caught Jon Jones back in 2008 when I was failing to make weight at the Olympics. Maybe when I was at that age I was the guy to beat him. Maybe I just tried this thing too late in life,” added Jon.
"I just want him to get honest with himself and be grateful for the time he did get to spend with the belt."
Of course, Cormier has other plans, as he expects the rivalry to be carried out even further, as he hopes to score a trilogy fight after he gets his revenge on his bitter rival.
It won’t be easy, as Jones is determined to prove to the world that his last two trouble-filled years have made him into a better athlete who is no longer taking things for granted.
"In my heart that stuff is over because I did my time for all the things I've done, but in the minds of the people, I feel like getting my belt back will help people move on," Jones said. "It will be a point where people realize this guy has been through this, this and that, but he's back where he needs to be. He's back on the throne, and let's see where his future goes from here instead of the focus being the reasons he's not on the throne because of getting in trouble,” he added.
From failed drug tests to countless run-ins with Johnny Law, “Bones” will look to finally put everything behind him and let fans focus on why he was once considered the best in the world with an impressive title-winning performance in Anaheim.