Daniel Cormier has already built himself a solid enough reputation as the UFC light heavyweight champion. He has, however, yet to defeat the man who is still widely considered as the best 205-pound champion of all time, Jon Jones.
The lone loss on Cormier’s professional record is courtesy of Jones, and he has been itching to erase its stigma. He was finally faced with the chance to do so last July at UFC 200, only to have it all crumble when “Bones” failed his pre-fight drug test and was suspended for a year because of it.
“DC” went on to defend his title for the second time against Anthony Johnosn at UFC 210 last April, which he did in convincing fashion. After which, he was apparently offered a fight with Jimi Manuwa at UFC 214, a matchup which he had zero interest in.
“They offered me the Manuwa fight for July 29 in Anaheim,” Cormier said on Monday’s MMA Hour episode (via MMA Fighting). “A week after I fought ‘Rumble’ [Johnson], Dana called me. I was on my way to Kansas City, and Manuwa was in his office and he goes, ‘you versus Manuwa in Anaheim,’ and I said, ‘well, eh,’ and he said, ‘what’s wrong,’ and I go, ‘it needs to be Jones, make it happen.’”
“And I badgered him and I badgered him, and I go, ‘tell me he’s ready to go,’ and he’s like, ‘I’m talking to him.’ So I go, ‘tell me he’s going to do it,’ and he goes, ‘well, I’m talking to him, we’re going get this figured out.’ And after about a week of me just badgering him, Dana goes, ‘DC calm down, I’m working on it.’ And finally it was Jones.”
“It had to be Jones. Ariel, I want fights that get me going.”
Cormier has been a competitor for a great majority of his life, being an NCAA Division I All-American wrestler. Now that he is at the top of the UFC’s light heavyweight division, he says he is only looking to face the best of the best.
“(Fighting) ‘Rumble’ Johnson, it was like, ‘is he really going to do it this time, can he get one on me and knock me out?’ So that’s the stuff that gets my juices going,” Cormier said. “Can Jon Jones do what he did last time and beat me again? That’s what get my juices going, or otherwise I’ll just do TV, you know? They tell me, ‘you got to fight Jimi Manuwa,’ and I’m like, ‘for what? This dude has no chance, come on.’”
If things go smoothly from hereon until July 29th, Cormier will finally get the chance to settle his long-time beef with Jones as they headline UFC 214 in Anaheim, California.