Daniel Cormier made history this past weekend (July 7, 2018) at UFC 226 in Las Vegas, Nevada after knocking out Stipe Miocic in the very first round to win the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight title.
In doing so, “DC” now claims the 265-pound title and the Light Heavyweight straps, joining Conor McGregor in rather elite company. Naturally, with any accomplishment Cormier obtains inside the Octagon, the shadow of Jon Jones looms large, unfortunately, though Daniel was quick to say he hold the cards now and Jones is nothing but a distant memory.
Still, “Bones” is lurking, as his manager Malki Kawa took to Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show to relay Jon’s reaction to Cormier winning the 265-pound strap, all while reminding the combat world that the Daniel never beat him to become the 205-pound king.
“I guess now we can say welcome to the club. He’s actually a champion. He won the Heavyweight championship and no one can take that way from him, he is the heavyweight champion of the world,” said Malki. “So that was one thing. He said, ‘Malk, this is the best that that could’ve happened because now I have the choice to come back and kick his ass at Light Heavyweight or heavyweight.’ So he was just happy, excited.”
As far as Jon feeling some sort of jealousy toward Daniel by doing what he didn’t get the chance to do at 265-pounds, Kawa was quick to dismiss that notion.
“He beat the guy twice, he is not jealous. When people look at their rivalry an stuff, even Daniel, this is something aside from Jon. this is very real,” he added. “I wish he would’ve done this earlier, as light heavyweight champion and been like, ‘I understand I won this belt this way, but it’s not your fault.’ He is the heavyweight champion and no one can argue that, that is reality,” he said.
“But when you beat a guy twice and the second time was more than convincing than the first time, Jon is not the type of guy that says ‘It should’ve been me.’ He says, ‘Great, now it’s my time to come back and it’s my choice to be heavyweight or light heavyweight.’ And that’s awesome.”
Still, Kawa wouldn’t go as far as to say Jones was “happy” for Cormier given their bitter past, but as a competitor, there has to be some sort of respect there.
“These guys are competitors, and I wouldn’t say he is happy, but he is definitely not sad about it. He doesn’t have a feeling one way or another, I think he is just like, congratulations to the guy,” added Malki. “His words to me were, ‘He is officially part of the club.’ And I asked him what club? And he said, ‘champion.’ He won this belt and it’s legitimate. I was glad to see Jon’s attitude be that way becasue I share the same sentiment,” he concluded.
Jon and Daniel’s history is no secret, as “Bones” holds two wins over “DC,” though his knockout win over the former Olympian at UFC 214 last year was overturned to a no contest (NC) after jon failed multiple drug tests. As a result, he had to cough up the 205-pound title back to Cormier.
A timetable for Jon’s return is unclear at the moment as he still has ongoing issues with United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA). That said, Malki is confident things will get resolved soon. If Jones doesn’t get cleared to fight within the next seven to eight months, he could miss out on the chance to defeat “DC” a third time as Cormier has put a hard deadline to retire by March of 2019.
If that’s the case, Daniel is more than happy to ride off into the sunset with a 205-pound title defense against Maurico Rua, followed by his big-money retirement heavyweight title fight against Brock Lesnar.
It’s good to be “champ champ.”