With UFC 214 fight week upon us, it appears as if the long awaited Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones rematch is actually going to happen. With several start and stop promotional pushes for this fight, UFC began what will hopefully be the home stretch of promotion on Monday with a media conference call including both fighters – and while it remains to be seen who will have the advantage in the cage, it was Jones who won the war of words.
One standout statement from Jones came from a phone call he had with all-time great and former Cormier opponent Anderson Silva just last week. While Silva lost the fight to Cormier at UFC 200 handily, he did have one observation that he shared with Jones.
“This man has fear in his heart,” Jones said Silva told him (via MMA Fighting). “He said, ‘Know what you’re capable of, go out there and you take this from him.’ In a roundabout way, that’s what he said.”
Roundabout way or not, there is likely some truth to what Jones is claiming as Cormier admitted following the fight with Silva that he was intimidated by the stature and legend of the former UFC Middleweight Champion.
Jones also went on a tirade against Cormier, who Jones feels is only motivated to prove to the world that Jones is a “bad guy” rather than find out who is the superior fighter. Jones was especially irked by allegations from Cormier that he has been using steroids.
“This is the first time I’ve competed against someone who is literally just fighting to prove that I’m a bad guy,” Jones exclaimed (via MMA Fighting). “F— it, call me the bad guy. I’m not fighting to be the good guy. I’ve never had anyone just attack – I mean, look at those interviews, it’s always the same sh–. Now he’s trying to freaking convince the world that I did steroids. That actually gets to me a little bit, because I think deep down this motherf—er knows that I wouldn’t do steroids. Come on now, come on now. Being the youngest champion (in UFC history), you mean to tell me I’m smart enough to outsmart the f–king USADA and f—ing the Nevada Athletic Commission for ten years? But I failed a cocaine test? I’m a mastermind steroid user that beat all these guys for ten years? He knows in his heart that I didn’t do steroids.”
Based on comments from the conference call, it sounds like Jones has no shortage of motivation to beat Cormier on Saturday night. With all of the bad blood, Jones left one piece of advice for his opponent.
“Just f—ing look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Goddamnit, he’s younger than me, he’s athletic, he beat my ass, and he’s going to do it again.’”
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Based on the satellite interview on Saturday and comments coming out of this call, Jones seems laser-focused and not-at-all impressed with Cormier. He is right that Cormier continues to drive the narrative that Jones is a bad guy and a drug user. Jones doesn’t need any help directing his narrative; he’s done a fine job at that himself. Cormier needs to focus on the fight, as if he loses again, his days as a top light heavyweight contender might be numbered.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Pat Miletich appeared on “The MMA Hour” yesterday and gave an update on the condition of Matt Hughes. “He is surprising the doctors,” Miletich said. “He’s making great leaps and he’s no longer in a coma, and he’s improving. It’s going to be a long road. Any type of head trauma at that level, there’s going to be some rehab.” Miletich also added that he expects Hughes to make a full recovery.
-Mike Tyson told the “Pardon My Take” podcast that he thinks Conor McGregor is “going to get killed” when he fights Floyd Mayweather.
–A teaser trailer for an upcoming Universal Pictures documentary on Conor McGregor, “Notorious,” has been released. The movie is described as “Coming Soon” but there are no details on a release date or format.
-Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold have been going back and forth on Twitter with Rockhold claiming Romero turned down a five-round fight with him for September. “You’re the p—y that didn’t wanna fight five rounds. September 16th was offered,” Rockhold tweeted. Romero responded, “Remember when you were champion and you said no to fight me? That was five rounds. Remember the last time you took the easy fight,” accompanied by a picture of Rockhold being knocked out by Michael Bisping.
-Germaine de Randamie told “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani that she was hurt by criticisms of her declining to fight Cris Cyborg and choosing to vacate her UFC Featherweight Championship. “People can say I’m scared,” de Randamie said. “I don’t mind, as long as I can look myself in the mirror and know I’m not scared. People can say I’m a cheater; I know I’m not a cheater. Of course, it hurts, but I can’t change a person’s mind. If they believe that, it’s their opinion. But all the other stuff? Yeah, it hurt me. That hurt me more than losing the belt.”
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUND-UP
-Lorenz Larkin vs. Paul Daley at Bellator 183 on Sept. 23 from San Jose, California.
-Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz at UFC 216 on Oct. 7 from Las Vegas.
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