Daniel Cormier On Upcoming Title Defense: It Had To Be Jones

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On July 29, 2017 in Anaheim, California, Daniel Cormier will finally get his chance to exact revenge on Jon Jones, as the two rivals will rematch in the main event of UFC 214 with Cormier’s 205-pound title hanging in the balance.

Jones, the former champion, scored a one-sided decision victory over Cormier in their first meeting at UFC 182 in Jan. 2015, but he’s only competed once since mainly due to issues outside of the cage, which opened the door for Cormier to secure the title.

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Photo Credit: Kevin Hoffman for USA TODAY Sports

“DC” last competed at UFC 210 this past April, successfully defending his title against Anthony Johnson via submission. After the bout, it was rumored that Cormier could next defend the strap against surging contender Jimi Manuwa, but he recently said that ‘it had to be Jones’ who he fought next:

“They offered me the Manuwa fight for July 29 in Anaheim,” Cormier told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “A week after I fought ‘Rumble’ [Johnson], Dana called me. I was on my way to Kansas City, and Manuwa was in his office and he goes, ‘you versus Manuwa in Anaheim,’ and I said, ‘well, eh,’ and he said, ‘what’s wrong,’ and I go, ‘it needs to be Jones, make it happen.’

“And I badgered him and I badgered him, and I go, ‘tell me he’s ready to go,’ and he’s like, ‘I’m talking to him.’ So I go, ‘tell me he’s going to do it,’ and he goes, ‘well, I’m talking to him, we’re going get this figured out.’ And after about a week of me just badgering him, Dana goes, ‘DC calm down, I’m working on it.’ And finally it was Jones. It had to be Jones. Ariel, I want fights that get me going.

“‘Rumble’ Johnson, it was like, ‘is he really going to do it this time, can he get one on me and knock me out?’ So that’s the stuff that gets my juices going. Can Jon Jones do what he did last time and beat me again? That’s what get my juices going, or otherwise I’ll just do TV, you know? They tell me, ‘you got to fight Jimi Manuwa,’ and I’m like, ‘for what? This dude has no chance, come on.’”

While Manuwa didn’t receive the title shot, he will indeed compete at UFC 214 in a pivotal bout against fellow contender Volkan Oezdemir. UFC 214 also happens to be one of the most highly anticipated cards of the year thus far, and Cormier feels as if it will sell well on pay-per-view (PPV):

“We did really well last time and I know the numbers we did were really, really well last time, and that was without help, so I think we’ll do pretty good,” Cormier said.

“It’s good for me because the first time Jon and I fought it was essentially a boxing fight, you know? The co-main event was Myles Jury vs. Donald Cerrone, but this time there are a lot of fights that I can’t even make out the main card at this point. Jon and I, ‘Cyborg’ [vs. Tonya Evinger], Tyron [Woodley vs. Demian Maia], so I guess Cerrone vs. Lawler would have to be on the main card, so is [Renan] Barao on the main card? Or is Manuwa on the main card? I don’t know, but that’s a good problem to have.”

Who do you expect to come out on top when Cormier and Jones attempt to settle the score?