Disappointing news broke last week when reigning 205-pound champion Daniel “DC” Cormier was forced to withdraw from his highly anticipated rematch with former boss Jon Jones due to injury.
Cormier was originally reluctant to pull out of the bout against his most bitter rival, but at the end of the day, the former Olympian feels as if he made the right decision:
“It was the right thing to do,” Cormier told MMAjunkie. “I couldn’t have fought to the best of my ability under the circumstances. I wouldn’t have been my best. In order to fight Jon and beat Jon, I have to be at 100 percent. For all the issues we have and everything, I do respect who he is as a competitor. I do respect what he brings to the table. I need to be 100 percent if I’m going to beat this guy, so I’m at peace with my decision.”
In the wake of Cormier’s injury, the UFC has called on No. 6-ranked Ovince St. Preux to step up on short notice and clash with Jones at April 23’s UFC 197 for the interim light heavyweight strap.
The switch up hasn’t halted the intense rivalry between Cormier and Jones, however, as the two have consistently clashed on twitter in recent days.
In today’s day and age, bad blood and drama sells tickets, which is ultimately what it comes down to for the UFC, but “DC” assures us that the beef between he and Jones is ‘real’:
“The social media stuff I put out, a lot of that was due to me just getting out of that procedure and still being on morphine,” Cormier said. “It is what it is. Jon and I have a real-life thing that we go through and we go through it. That’s just what it is. To say anything different would actually be a lie. What Jon and I have is real.”
As far as when the rematch will actually take place, the champion isn’t sure at this point, although his injury shouldn’t keep him out of action too long.
One possibility could be scheduling the two to meet at the UFC’s first card in New York which will likely take place next fall. Jones, a native of the Empire State, has always expressed his interest in fighting at Madison Square Garden, but that timeline doesn’t seem to work for “DC”:
“I don’t know when the next opportunity would be for us,” Cormier said. “I don’t know what the realistic thing would be. I don’t want to delay this thing very long. I hate the fact I had to delay it to begin with. I prefer to do it as soon as I can when I’m healthy.
“(New York is) way too far. I’m 37 years old. I need to be fighting. To have to wait all that time would be a little too much.”
How do you see the rematch playing out when it does indeed occur?