What's the story?
Former UFC double-champion, Daniel Cormier, was recently seen having high praises for his bitter Octagon rival, Jon Jones. The reigning heavyweight champion made an appearance on 'The MMA Hour,' with Luke Thomas, this past Monday, and was seen weighing in on matters concerning Jones, as well as the haphazard UFC 232 drug testing incident.
In case you didn't know..
Following the serving of a shortened suspension of 15 months, the light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones was deemed legally fit to return to the Octagon in October, last year. Jones was scheduled to face Alexander Gustafsson in a much-awaited rematch for the main event of UFC 232, formerly slated to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After receiving the results of a specific drug screening event conducted on Jones by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the UFC decided to shift base from Las Vegas to the state of California. Jones was denied a fighting license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, based on his 'atypical' drug test findings, pushing the promotion to host UFC 232 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Fight fans were witness to a clinical display of martial art techniques, tactfully complemented with impeccable fight I.Q. from Jones, who went on to defeat Alexander Gustafsson, thereby claiming the vacant 205-pound championship belt.
The heart of the matter
In a recent interview on 'The MMA Hour' with Luke Thomas, the former light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, was crediting Jones for a brilliant performance in the Octagon, on the night of UFC 232. He said:
“Anytime you can go through a guy like Alexander Gustafsson in the fashion that he did is very impressive. I have never shied away from the fact that the guy’s a phenomenal mixed martial artist, and I thought he fought well. I thought he fought well, he fought exactly as he intended to and was able to completely shut down Alex.”
Cormier further elaborated on the drug test screening procedures conducted by the legal authorities who sanction a fight, by saying the following,
“If you’re asking me if I feel Jon Jones would’ve worn a UFC title without any of these things (PEDs), I do, 100 percent, believe he would’ve won a UFC title. I think that he’s a very talented guy. He comes from the sport of wrestling, so he has that baseline for dictating where fights take place. With that being said, those things are done for a reason, right? You don’t have all these issues with the testing unless you have either doubts or something in your preparation over the course of your athletic career didn’t truly add up. That’s the only way you would get these types of things tied to your career."
From Daniel Cormier's recent admissions, it seems to be clear that regardless of the personal vendetta between the pair, Cormier is, in fact, respectful of Jones' mixed martial arts prowess.
Do you think a third and final fight between the two is a formidable possibility? If so, will it be at light heavyweight or heavyweight?
Be sure to leave us with your thoughts, opinions, and predictions in the comments section below!