Daniel Cormier would like nothing more than to only answer questions about his fight with Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 210 on Saturday night.
Unfortunately, once word broke that Jon Jones was planning on attending the event, Cormier knew that he was going to be bombarded by reporters looking to talk about his long-standing beef with the former champion.
Of course it’s understandable considering Cormier and Jones have engaged in one of the most bitter rivalries in UFC history. Jones defeated Cormier in their first meeting back in 2015, but they’ve had two subsequent rematches fall apart so it’s only built the anticipation towards an eventual showdown between them in the future.
Cormier knows Jones will be looming large over the event considering he’s expected to face the winner of the UFC 210 main event, but he issued a stern warning to the former champion that he should avoid the customary post-fight stare down that often happens when the promotion is looking at building towards their next big event.
“He better not come in my cage after I win. He’s not welcome in there,” Cormier said on Thursday. “He’s still suspended. When he’s eligible to fight then he can walk in the cage but if he dares to step into that Octagon, something bad will happen.”
For most fighters that might just sound like typical trash talking bluster, but considering Cormier and Jones got into a brawl in the middle of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas ahead of their first fight, putting those two combustible elements together could result in mayhem.
That being said, Cormier doesn’t quite understand why Jones is making an appearance at UFC 210 anyways considering he’s still under suspension after testing positive for a banned substance last year.
Jones’ suspension came after he was pulled from UFC 200, which cancelled the last scheduled rematch with Cormier in July 2016.
“This is where he’s from, I get it, but if it was me and I was in his situation, I wouldn’t be here,” Cormier said.
Jones will also speak to media on Friday and the former champion is hosting a meet and greet with fans as well at a local bar and restaurant in Buffalo. That idea alone makes Cormier nervous about what could happen with Jones in that environment.
“First off, whoever made an after party for a recovering alcoholic has to be the smartest human being on the planet. I mean come on,” Cormier said. “I’m dumbfounded. You put that guy in a party situation. Good luck.”
Cormier also took aim at Jones’ excuse for his failed drug test last year where he took an off-market erectile dysfunction medication that was tainted with an illegal substance. USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) went to arbitration with Jones over the matter, but still ultimately suspended him for a year due to the infraction of the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
Jones will be eligible to return to action in July.
“I’m the champion, I can say whatever the hell I want. Maybe some people are afraid. I know what you did. We all know what you did. 27-years old and you need sex pills? You got a real issue. I’m 38 and I don’t have that problem,” Cormier said.
“He’s smart. He continues to pull the wool over people’s eyes. I don’t need him to like me. I could care less. I’ll say whatever I want.”
As much as Cormier’s disdain for Jones shows in everything he says about the former light heavyweight champion, he’ll never deny the talent he possesses inside the Octagon.
That being said, Cormier also knows that Jones has wasted years of his career dealing with legal entanglements including a hit-and-run car accident, a drunk driving incident and then being suspended after testing positive for a banned substance.
“The guy is the most talented human being I’ve ever competed against. He’s so good in every aspect of fighting but for him to have done the things he’s done to limit the history that he was making it’s crazy. It’s sad,” Cormier said about Jones. “But at the end of the day, I have to worry about myself and I have to worry about Anthony Johnson.
“You guys care about Jon Jones. We don’t. He’s a non-factor. This is a guy who hasn’t fought for almost two years and the last time he fought Ovince Saint-Preux it was just a [expletive] fight. It was almost as bad as me and Anderson Silva.”