Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier rematch ruled no contest, UFC reinstates 'DC' as champion
After being hesitant at first, Cormier believes taking back the belt 'is the right thing to do'
Jon Jones' knockout victory via head kick at UFC 214 in his rematch with Daniel Cormier has been officially removed from the record books. Shortly after, so was his latest light heavyweight title reign.
The July 29 bout from Anaheim, California, has been overturned by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) on Wednesday and changed to a no contest afterfor the steroid Turinabol immediately after the fight's weigh-in.
In addition, UFC officially reinstated Cormier as light heavyweight champion. The move marks the third time in less than three years that Jones has been stripped of a UFC title -- once for disciplinary reasons following a hit-and-run arrest and twice for failed drug tests.
Appearing Wednesday as an analyst on "UFC Tonight," Cormier, 38, said initially he didn't want the title back.
"I talked to [CSAC] and was like, 'I lost. I lost the fight,'" Cormier said. "As a competitor, that's how I felt. [UFC president] Dana White called me today and said, 'If it's a no-contest, then the fight didn't happen.'
"[White] said, 'If one of you guys would have missed weight, he would have won the fight but you still would have kept the belt. Because of that, the championship is getting returned to you.' The fight is a no contest. If he cheated, he could not have fought and cheated and still won the fight."
Cormier said his decision to ultimately relent and take back the title came down to financials.
"Now, people will say stuff like, 'You got handed the belt,'" Cormier said. "[Jones] cheated. The reality is, for me to say, 'I don't want this title,' when I was going to be [fighting] in a championship anyway, financially it's just a big difference if I don't fight as the champion as opposed to fighting for a vacant title."
The news comes one day after. Jones is expected to appeal the test results. He and his team maintain he did not knowingly take any banned substances and have explained the result as a possible tainted supplement.
But as a repeat offender, the 30-year-old Jones could face up to a four-year suspension. Jones returned at UFC 214 fresh off a one-year United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after testing positive for a pair of banned substances ahead of UFC 200 in July 2016.
"He disqualified himself for taking a steroid before the fight, so it didn't happen," Cormier said. "So now I get the belt back, which is the right thing to do. And I'm not only saying that because it's me. It's the right thing to do. You don't cheat the sport, you don't cheat the fans, you don't cheat me.
"You have all the physical advantages, sir. You're 30 years old, you're 6-4, you've got an 85-inch reach. I'm 38 years old. I would love to take stuff and not have to wake up every morning and walk down my stairs sideways."
Cormier lost his first meeting with Jones by decision in 2015. Four months later, after Jones was first stripped of the belt for the first time, Cormier defeated Anthony Johnson for the vacant title. He then made a pair of title defenses and won three fights overall heading into his July rematch with Jones.
"We had one of the biggest fights of the year," Cormier said. "Once again, this guy has made a mockery of the sport."
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