Daniel Cormier will be defending the UFC Light Heavyweight Title in his next fight against the man he failed to take that title from in 2015, Jon Jones, but he believes the rematch will be his whenever it gets booked this year.
Speaking with UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer on his podcast this week, Cormier said he feels he’s better than Jones regardless of what happened at UFC 182 last year.
“The truth is, I lost that fight to Jones, but I didn’t fight my best fight,” Cormier said (transcribed by MMAFighting.com). “I didn’t fight very well and I still had a lot of moments in that fight. For me going into the next fight, not only do I feel like I’m going to win, I feel I’m supposed to win. I am a better mixed martial artist than Jon Jones. Skill for skill I’m better than that guy.
“There was a lot of talk and on Jan. 3, 2015 Jon fought the better fight,” Cormier continued. “He was the better fighter on that night. He did a phenomenal job of making me fight the way he wanted. As the fight progressed and both of us started to tire a little bit he started to initiate clinches and slowed me down and made me fight the slow fight that he’s very good at. He’s not going to get to do that again this time. I’m already covering those bases. There are a lot of things I did in that first fight that lent to me losing. Not really respecting Jon and his ability to dictate a fight.
“I thought that by putting the type of pressure that I put on people that eventually he would fold. Kenny Florian told me something right before the fight and it rang so true. ‘DC, got out and win this fight because you’re better. He’s not going to give up on himself in 25 minutes.’ I trained for three months to break him, but 25 minutes isn’t enough time for Jon to give up on himself. I have to go beat him because I’m better than him.”
Penick’s Analysis: Call me cynical, but I’d say Cormier’s beliefs were proven wrong on Jan. 3, 2015. He’s a very, very good fighter, that’s not at all in question. He’s just demonstrably not better than Jon Jones. He’s a great wrestler, and he’s added dangerous striking ability throughout his MMA run, but he has not in the least proven to be better than Jones by any stretch. He thinks he’ll prove otherwise in that rematch, but it’s going to take something significantly more than what he was able to do in that first fight for him to hold onto that title.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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