Another day, another back and forth from Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. While Jones has done his best to downplay Cormier as a legitimate challenger to him at UFC 200, Cormier’s seemingly doing everything he possibly can to convince himself that Jones is a diminished version of the man he fought at UFC 182.
That came out clearly during a media conference call for the event on Thursday afternoon, with Cormier arguing that Jones former hard-partying lifestyle is to blame for a less than thrilling performance at UFC 197.
“The Jon that showed up against Ovince Saint Preux is the guy that is going be in the Octagon on July 9,” Cormier said (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com). “That is who he is. Nothing’s free, so all the partying and other stuff, you have to pay for that. And now, we’re seeing him where it’s time to pay the costs. He’s paying for all the outlandish living and burning that candle at two ends, and now we’re getting to the middle where it starts to die out.
“He may be 28 years old in reality, but he’s lived much longer with the long nights and all the other stuff that he’s done.”
Jones somewhat laughed off Cormier’s framing of things, and it led to the two of them once again talking over each other during a media event.
“Where do you come up with this craziness?” Jones asked. “Where was your candle at when I beat you the first time? Why was your candle out?”
“My candle? Well, I don’t burn the candle at both ends,” Cormier responded. “I haven’t burnt it at both ends to become a middle-aged man at 28 years old.”
Penick’s Analysis: Cormier’s desperate to believe this is true, and I don’t know how well that reflects on him. Even if it were true (and I don’t think for a second that’s why Jones looked the way he did against Saint Preux), Cormier’s saying he’s fighting a worse version of Jones at UFC 200. So what does that accomplish if he winds up beating a diminished Jones when he got beat by – in his own argument – a better Jones at UFC 182? It’s a talking point that only hurts Cormier. But it’s also a bit delusional and wishful thinking to expect Jones to be worse off at UFC 200. The Saint Preux performance was a bit of an anomaly in that it was his first true late notice opponent change and him coming back after more than a year out of the cage. He shook off any rust that may have been there, did tons of damage, and didn’t take much himself. It wasn’t his greatest performance, sure, but to think that’s indicative of how Jones will fight Cormier at UFC 200 is simply a setup for disappointment.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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