Daniel Cormier is still haunted by what might have been.
The former two-division champion was defeated twice by longtime light heavyweight rival Jon Jones and in both instances, “Bones” had the wins tarnished by positive drug tests, though we should probably differentiate between what happened before UFC 182 and after UFC 214.
Regardless, Cormier doesn’t feel like he got a fair shake in either matchup and will have to live with the results, which boil down to one loss (UFC 182) and one “No Contest” (UFC 214). It should also be noted that both outcomes set Cormier on a path to becoming light heavyweight champion.
“He beats me, gets suspended for the first time,” Cormier said on The Pivot Podcast (transcribed by Danny Segura). “Next time, steroids, failed. It’s like every time we fight, and you get suspended, if we go through the interaction, and you won the fight, that memory does not disappear. Even though they said it’s a no contest, (they) saw (me) lose. It’s the truth. All he gets is time. Now you get (suspended) 18 months, (but) you still got your money. And you’re still only 25, 26 years old. I’m 37, 38 years old. You’re 27, and you get a year off. It’s horrible, but it’s easy for him to say ‘water under the bridge.’ But for me, it’s like, ‘Man, you did some stuff to my career that never let me settle, because now I don’t know.’”
We also don’t know what would have happened if this fight wasn’t called off.
Jones, with a little help from UFC President of Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky, embarked on a post-UFC 214 comeback tour designed to sweep Jones’ drug testing drama under the “Picogram” carpet. Not surprisingly, Cormier wasn’t the only past opponent crying foul.
“I could know through the fights that maybe this dude is just better than me,” Cormier said. “But I also know that if you’re not doing the things that are boosting you, can you really work to the level that I’m working? I can’t let it go. He’s a cheater. He’s got all these great instincts for fighting, but he just cannot allow himself to be as great as he is.”
Perhaps now is a good time to mention that Cormier did some cheating of his own, recently confessing to TowelGate as part of the UFC 210 pay-per-view (PPV) event back in early 2017. “DC” went on to apologize to opponent Anthony Johnson for being forced to fight an overweight adversary — who should have (also) been stripped of the title — without compensatory damages.
Cheats recognize cheats, I suppose.
Cormier eventually moved to heavyweight and later retired in the wake of his trilogy with Stipe Miocic. As for Jones, who surrendered his 205-pound strap after a protracted financial dispute, he’s expected to follow in “DC’s” footsteps and make a “giant” run at the 265-pound title at some point later this year.