Daniel Cormier Upset He Has To Give Up Belt Because Of Jones vs Gustafsson. UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who also holds the UFC heavyweight championship, revealed during a recent interview that he is unhappy with the promotion because the UFC wants him to give up his light heavyweight championship in order to make the scheduled fight between former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson a title fight.
The rematch between Jones and Gustafsson has been scheduled as the main event at UFC 232, which will take place on Saturday, December 29 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
During the interview, Cormier said he feels uneasy giving up the belt because of his personal feelings about Jones, who he believes doesn’t deserve to fight for the belt immediately after a suspension.
“Everybody knows how I feel about Jon Jones,” Cormier said. “It’s been tense, to say the least, with my interaction with the company if indeed they offer a title fight to him. I have to maintain a sense of professionalism.”
In September, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced that Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC), would receive a 15-month suspension for his second anti-doping violation, which stems from a positive drug test following his July 2017 win over Cormier, which was overturned after his positive test.
Since Jones hasn’t fought since July 2017, he is eligible to return to the Octagon on October 28.
According to reports, the UFC initially tried to schedule the fight between Jones and Gustafsson on November 3, but UFC president Dana White put an end to the rumor, citing timing for making the potential November fight unrealistic.
After news of Jones’ suspension ending came out, there were reports that he would fight Cormier for the third time for the light heavyweight championship, but Cormier dismissed the rumors, citing Jones’ history of failed drug tests. However, he left the door open to the possibility of a third fight down the line.
“I said I would be willing to fight, but it just can’t happen right now,” said Cormier. He added that a hand injury will prevent him from fighting until January. The hand injury is also one of the reasons the UFC decided to strip him of the light heavyweight belt.
The first fight between Jones and Gustafsson is considered one of the best light heavyweight fights in UFC history, with Jones retaining his belt in the 2013 fight by unanimous decision. A rematch was supposed to take place soon after, but it never happened because of injuries, suspension,and Jones taking other fights, including the first Cormier fight.
Cormier fought Gustafsson in 2015, and won the fight by decision, keeping the UFC light heavyweight title. During the interview, Cormier said he asked the UFC to give him the first title shot after Jones and Gustafsson fight since he never lost the belt. He added that he will be willing to fight Jones a third time if Jones defeats Gustafsson for the belt.
“I can’t turn this off,” Cormier said. “It’s my desire to fight and compete against the best of the world. No matter how much I disrespect him, he’s a phenomenal talent. But at the end of the day, he’s a cheater. …”
“I want to compete against him again”
Cormier said he will defend his UFC heavyweight championship against Brock Lesner, but he hopes the fight is scheduled for early January because it will give him enough time to prepare for a fight against either Gustafsson or Jones in March before he retires, which he still intends to do next year.