When Daniel Cormier made a guest appearance on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani this Monday, April 4th, he came prepared with a surprising offer. Having been forced out of his UFC 197 title defense against Jon Jones later this month, Cormier wanted to keep the ball rolling over at AKA, and offered to train his replacement, Ovince St. Preux, free of charge for the remaining three weeks up to the fight.
It was a very generous offer. Training camps, especially at large, well-known gyms, aren't cheap. Throw in airfare and lodging for OSP and his team and you're talking a solid five-digit offer from Cormier's pocket to a potential divisional rival. But, as generous as the offer may have been, it looks like it's not happening.
OSP himself showed up on the MMA Hour not long after Cormier and gave a firm, but polite answer to a chance to head out west for a new camp:
"Well, actually I was listening to the show when he actually said that," OSP explained, having been presented with DC's offer, "because he actually... I know Daniel, we talk. Every time I see him we get to talking and stuff. And my manager, they text from time to time... But, it's just one of them situations. Like I said, from day one I've been here with my trainers and stuff. It's one of them things that we talked about, I've been with my camp from day one and I appreciate the invitation and everything, all the hospitality. Even going back to the Strikeforce days with Bob Cook. Definitely appreciate the invitation, but I think with everything we've got going on over here... My coach came up with a solid game plan and I think we definitely gonna be okay."
What do you think? Did OSP make the right move? Would he have been better off, even if only for a couple weeks, working with DC's team? Does he have a shot at beating Jones either way?
UFC 197 takes place on Saturday, April 23rd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will be headlined by an interim light heavyweight title fight between former UFC champ Jon Jones and Ovince St. Preux. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all the news and updates fit to print.