Daniel Cormier says Jon Jones needs a potential rematch more than he does

Just days removed from defending his light heavyweight championship in a rematch with Anthony Johnson at UFC 210, the focus for Daniel Cormier has understandably shifted toward a second fight with Jon Jones. 

But Cormier (19-1), who made the third defense of his title with a second-round submission on Saturday, added one important qualifier when talking about a Jones rematch that the UFC has twice tried unsuccessfully to make.

“[Jones] needs this more than me,” Cormier told MMAFighting.com on Monday. “I don’t need him anymore.”

Jones (22-1), who will be eligible to return in July from a one-year suspension for a failed drug test which canceled a fight with Cormier ahead of UFC 200, was in attendance in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend for Cormier’s fight and spoke to the media for the first time since his suspension. 

Cormier, 38, appeared to be drumming up interest inside the cage on Saturday for a rematch by calling out Jones after the fight. But on Monday, Cormier said he was put off by Jones’ presence throughout the weekend, which included Jones publicly ripping Cormier for his role in a controversial weigh-in. 

“Earlier in the week, I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know why he’s hanging around,’” Cormier said. “I said it multiple times: It seems desperate. You can’t even do anything about what you’re talking about at this point right now. You just finished another round of community service, you can’t do anything. He can’t do anything. So, you know, he did annoy me.”

Jones, 29, who defeated Cormier by unanimous decision in January 2015, was stripped of his title three months later for fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run accident. While Cormier admitted he very much would like a rematch with Jones, he wasn’t against the idea of the former champion taking a tune-up first, especially in light of UFC president Dana White’s comments that he doesn’t trust Jones enough to put him back in a main event. 

“If [Jones] wants to fight someone else and maybe get his sea legs back, [it’s OK],” Cormier said. “Because if he goes in there with me right now like, walking like he’s … you know when Bambi comes out, he has got them little Bambi legs? He has got them sea legs. If Jon Jones comes back in the Octagon with those sea legs like he did against Ovince Saint Preux, then I’m going to smash him.”

Whether a rematch ends up happening, Cormier was adamant that Jones no longer has any control over him. With his UFC title, money in the back, happy family at home and broadcasting job to fall back on after fighting, Cormier said he already has everything he needs in life and remains secure. 

He was unable to say the same thing about Jones.

“I don’t need that guy [but] that guy needs to fight,” Cormier said. “That guy needs to come back and fight me. Because this thing doesn’t define who I am as a human being. I think Jon Jones, he needs to be Jon Jones the fighter, because there is nothing else. 

“If you take away Jon Jones the fighter, what is there? Jon Jones the college drop out? Jon Jones the guy that actually ran over some chick in his vehicle? Who is he? He needs this to define him.”

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

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories