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Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier beef: Everything you need to know

Vinayak
Daniel Cormier (left) & Jon Jones (right)
Daniel Cormier (left) & Jon Jones (right)

In the world of combat sports, bad blood feuds often precede success, just ask Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones. As two of the baddest light heavyweights in the history of the sport, they have a rather checkered and complicated past. They share one of the most infamous bad blood feuds to have emerged from the UFC.

Only a handful of rivalries have attracted fans to stadiums and TV screens like the one that Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier shared.

UFC 200 New York Press Event
UFC 200 New York Press Event

The term 'first impressions are lasting impressions' was given a new meaning when 'DC' and Jon Jones met each other for the first time. Jones claimed that he walked up to 'DC' to greet him, at which point Cormier took offense to a joke. Cormier, on the other hand, claims that Jones insulted him right from the get-go, laying the foundation for a lengthy feud.

Jones offered some insight into his run-in with DC while in conversation with Ariel Helwani:

The whole story behind me and him is just so silly. I met him and I came up to him with a big smile on my face....I felt the need to say hello to him and I was just like ‘hey man, I hear you're a great wrestler' and all this stuff and he's like ‘Yeah, yeah, you don't know who I am?' I'm like ‘no I don't know who you are, but my coaches were telling me that you wrestle on the Olympic level.' And I was like ‘I bet you that I could take you down.' It was my way of trying to develop a new friendship and he just took it so seriously and he was just so offended that I didn't know who he was...from that moment on he decided that there was a beef between us. I was just trying to reach out to him at that moment and he just decided that there wouldn't be a friendship between us." (h/t Bloody Elbow)

What was meant as sporty banter between two professionals sparked one of the greatest bad-blood rivalries that the sport had ever seen. In an interview with ESPN, Daniel Cormier offered fans some insight into his side of the ordeal.

"He looked down on me and started to make derogatory comments towards me, talking about how he could take me down easy and stuff...You don't even know who I am, guy!" (h/t Bleacher Report)

Perhaps Jones was trying to kick off a newfound friendship with 'DC' off the back of some banter or downplayed quips. Either way, the truth behind the matter will likely remain a mystery for a long time to come.


Alexander Gustafsson paves the way for Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier 1

The first fight between Alexander Gustafsson and Jon Jones at UFC 165 back in 2013 was perhaps the most competitive fight of Jones' career. Coming into the fight as the favorite, Jones was touted to take the win with ease. However, Gustafsson was not one to back out so easily.

The fighters put on an absolute striking masterclass, doing enough to earn the fight a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame. The fight left such an impact on fans and matchmakers in the UFC that they called for a rematch almost immediately. The rematch was slated to take place at UFC 178.

A classic worthy of the Hall of Fame!Relive that epic Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson classic! https://t.co/Vp6O4kNJOi

However, an injury to his meniscus derailed Gustafsson's chances of running it back with Jon Jones. In came Daniel Cormier to fill in for the Swede. What followed was a series of intense interactions between Jones and Cormier that laid the foundation for a massive affair.

A press conference in 2014 took a turn for the worse after things got physical between Jones and Cormier. The brawl resulted in a broken stage, a $40,000 fine, plus 40 hours of community service, and an end to an association with Nike for Jones. For 'DC', it was a $9,000 fine and 20 hours of community service.

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However, an injury to Jones forced him out of the fight, postponing the event to 2015. They finally clashed at UFC 182 in 2015 and things only deteriorated between the two after Jones walked away with the win.

In the build-up to his next outing in the octagon, Jon Jones failed a drug test and was forced out of a scrap against Anthony Johnson. What's more, he was subsequently stripped of his title after a hit-and-run case. Thhat opened the door for 'DC' to step in and claim the vacant title following a win against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187.


Jon Jones was pulled from UFC 200 after a failed drug test

Following a lengthy spell away from the octagon, Cormier and Jones were set to butt heads at UFC 200. However, Jones tumbled out of the event after turning in yet another positive test; this time for hydroxy-clomiphene and a letrozole metabolite.

Jon Jones and his camp claimed that Jones mistakenly consumed the medication, thinking it was a male enhancement pill, Cialis. However, he was given a different pill that contained the banned substance.

Jones served his suspension and found himself on yet another collision course with Daniel Cormier. The pair met at UFC 214 back in 2017, where Jon Jones managed to dismantle his rival with relative ease.

A year away from the Octagon didn't stop Jon Jones from dominating Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 😳Such a scary athlete...#UFC239 https://t.co/LnuE24ZLIS

However, his triumph did not last. He tested positive for a banned substance yet again. His pre-fight urine test returned positive for Turinabol. Jon Jones was almost slapped with a four-year-ban by USADA as it was his second offense. However, it was later reduced to 18 months.

Meanwhile, Cormier was reinstated as the light heavyweight champ before overcoming Stipe Miocic to sling the heavyweight title over his shoulder. After solidifying himself as a two-division champion, 'DC' eventually ceded his light heavyweight title instead of having the UFC strip him of it.

Daniel Cormier defeated Stipe Miocic and became a Double Champ 3 years ago today at UFC 226 https://t.co/acmZmhWkqM

The vacant title was subsequently picked up by Jon Jones at UFC 232 in a rematch against Alexander Gustafsson. Although Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier shared a tumultuous past, 'Bones' shared words of support after 'DC' lost his stepfather. Perhaps it was an effort to bury the hatchet once and for all.

However, their feud has only seemed to grow ever since. 'DC' and Jones have exchanged numerous jabs on social media. Most recently, the former two-division UFC offered his two cents on Jon Jones' arrest.

When all is said and done, their rivalry is one that has brought fans a tremendous amount of excitement and the UFC a lot of revenue.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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