After months of enticing proclamations, backstage brawls and intense stare downs, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier took part in a five-round title fight at UFC 182 that ended in a relatively lopsided decision for the defending champion.
Luke Rockhold, one of Cormier's main training partners for the fight, watched from cage side in dismay. His friend and training partner was simply not fighting in top form.
"I'm bummed, of course," Rockhold told MMAFighting.com after the fight. "He didn't go out there and fight to his potential, no doubt. He had flashes of brilliance in there but he waited, stalled, and looked almost like a deer in the headlights. I don't know if the pressure got to him or what it was; you have to give it up for Jon (Jones), he is a great fighter. He's the champ."
However, Rockhold did suggest that the fight was still closer that most of Jones' title defences, and indicated that there will likely be a rematch somewhere down the line.
"I don't think that fight is over," he explained. "He beat DC, but I didn't see DC in trouble once during that fight. Jon has hurt every other opponent badly that he has faced. I think there will be another five rounds in the future."
Regarding his own fighting future, Rockhold believes the UFC brass is interested in slotting him against former light-heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida.
"Machida sounds like the match-up they want. I think it is just a matter of when and where. I'm in shape - pretty much ready to go."