Daniel Cormier Believes Anthony Johnson Shouldn’t Play Games With Jon Jones

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Daniel Cormier believes that UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson made a mistake by pranking Dana White with a fake brawl during his staredown with champion Jon Jones at last Saturday’s (Feb. 28, 2015) “Welcome To The Show” press conference.

Although many felt the prank, which was a clear re-creation of Jones and Cormier’s now-infamous UFC 178 Media Day brawl that incited a wildfire last August, was hilarious, Cormier did not agree.

Speaking on the UFC 184 post-fight show on FOX Sports 1 where he serves as a frequent analyst, Cormier said that ‘Rumble’ should have taken things more seriously with his soon-to-be opponent at May’s UFC 187:

“That whole little thing they did at the press conference, you don’t want to do that as a challenger. Why would Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson want to be Jon Jones’ friend? I understand good sportsmanship, but don’t let him goad you into playing games with him. You are coming to take that guy’s livelihood. You’re his opponent. You go out and get that guy.”

Cormier certainly had that attitude during the bad blood-filled buildup to his bout with Jones at January 3’s UFC 182, a bout in which he dropped a devastating decision to the dominant champion after fading in the later rounds. He wasn’t Jones’ friend then, and he isn’t now; a strategy he believes that ‘Rumble’ should try to emulate heading into their pivotal showdown:

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“Don’t be his friend and get you to be buddy-buddy with him. Don’t give him any comfort. Go after him and intimidate him. They’re going to fight in May, so you don’t need to go out and do it at the press conference. But again, I kind of disagree with that.”

“It’s a game of inches, and you don’t want to concede to the champion that he can actually draw you in. It was pretty funny. They missed a couple things when they were in the back doing their choreography for their little skit in the back. They forgot a couple things.”

Aside from his thunderous nine-fight win streak that was capped off by his shocking first-round knockout of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Sweden, Johnson is going to need each and every advantage he can get when he faces off against the world’s No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in Jones.

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According to Cormier, ‘Rumble’ hasn’t necessarily taken all of the steps required to get them, so he believes Jones will beat him despite his earth-shattering knockout power:

“I love ‘Rumble’ Johnson, I think he’s great, and I think he has a fantastic chance,” Cormier said. “But I believe Jones is going to win.”

From the early buzz around the fight, many disagree with Cormier and are picking ‘Rumble’ to upset the champ with his fight-changing strikes. He’s obviously calm and confident enough to plan a prank with his opponent before the biggest fight of his career, an attitude that he seemingly carried into his win over Gustafsson.

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But is he too relaxed to defeat a legendary champion like ‘Bones?’

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports