All parties apologize for handling of Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier post-fight situation

Daniel Cormier took to social media Sunday in what was his first public response since losing his light heavyweight title at UFC 214, and he delivered some praise to long-time rival Jon Jones.

Cormier (19-2) never recovered from a head kick in the third round on Saturday and was stopped shortly after. The former champion was later taken to a local hospital, and he appeared to be concussed during an ill-advised interview with UFC's Joe Rogan after the fight. 

UFC officials and cage-side doctors had trouble corralling Cormier before the interview as he was visibly upset and still wobbly on his feet. After referee "Big" John McCarthy grabbed Cormier's arm to announce Jones (23-1) as the winner, Cormier pushed it away and attempted to leave the cage before UFC president Dana White got in his face. 

In an Instagram post, Cormier apologized specifically to McCarthy, saying, "I am thankful for the time you gave me to try and defend myself and stay in the fight. You are the best in the business for a reason." 

First off, thank you all for the kind words. I have felt the support. Congratulations to Jon Jones and his team. They did a phenomenal job and got the victory. Also, to Big John McCarthy, I would like to apologize for acting up with you. I am thankful for the time you gave me to try and defend myself and stay in the fight. You are the best in the business for a reason. I also wanna thank my team and my coaches. I love you all from the bottom of my heart. Your time and energy is greatly appreciated. You guys did a wonderful job, I was ready. It's a fist fight and things happen. Dana White and the @ufc, thank you for being the premiere organization in all of MMA. Again, congrats to Team Jones and JacksonWink. Love you all. I'll see you soon. DC 📷@layziethesavage

A post shared by Daniel "DC" Cormier (@dc_mma) on

Cormier was reportedly angry with McCarthy for the stoppage he felt occurred too soon. McCarthy responded to a question about the matter Sunday after a fan asked on Twitter whether the fight should have been stopped even sooner. 

"Every referee wants to be perfect, but that's just not a possibility," McCarthy said. "I know why I let it go, what I was looking [for] & what I told D.C. I have watched the fight [too] many times & believe I should have stopped the fight 2 punches earlier. But I don't get second chances." 

McCarthy went on to tweet at Cormier, 38, directly in response to the apology.  

Both Rogan and UFC were widely criticized for the handling of the post-fight interview as Cormier openly sobbed and struggled through his words, White told media members late Saturday that the interview shouldn't have happened and that Rogan had taken it upon himself to do it. 

Rogan publicly addressed the matter Sunday morning in his own Instagram post. 

"My apologies to D.C. and to everyone else upset at me for interviewing him after the fight," Rogan said. "In all honestly, I was kind of in shock and I don't think I realized what I was doing until I had a mic in my hand and I was talking to him. 

"I've said that I don't want to interview fighters after they've been KO'ed and then I did it to someone that I care a great deal about. It was 100 [percent] my f--- up and no one pressured me to do it."

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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