JON JONES and Daniel Cormier have both made weight for tomorrow's UFC 214 showdown. Cormier is clearly the number two dog in the division as he has fought well with the belt but his title reign always sat under the shadow of Jones. It technically turned out that way with Lesnarresponding to Jones' wish. Jones is a favorite over Cormier, and it looks like the former champion is already looking past UFC 214.
In his personal quest for vindication from a string of legal and personal missteps, the upstate NY native cites the relationships he has formed here. "And I'm okay with that". The return of Jones assures that won't be the case for this card but the UFC is making sure by offering a stacked card.
The Louisiana native added: "This is my era".
TimingBrock Lesnar was suspended a full year stemming from a failed drug test from is last fight against Mark Hunt in July 2016.
When Jon Jones first met Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, he had accumulated a 20-1 record (his only loss due to disqualification).
Following the last minute scuppering of their meeting at UFC200, Dana White isn't taking any chances with this bout, and has Jimi Manuwa on standby, but Jones was adamant he wouldn't be facing the Brit. "I do not take last-minute fights, no matter who says what". I stared having fun and partying, and (I was) still winning. "I felt completely abandoned by him ... in a situation when I needed him the most".
Cormier has been waiting to exact revenge against Jones. "I'm not interested in the back and forth and all that stuff".
"The most important is to do well, to fight well, to do my best to get this belt on Saturday". Though he was unquestionably defeated by Jones in their first meeting, Cormier's been the more active fighter over the past two years. If all these things that he's saying right now are true, then great. I'm not mad at him anymore like I was before, but we'll see how this thing plays out. "The guy has no idea what he's in for".
Everything about Jones' behavior suggests he might have stronger feelings than he acknowledges.
"There is redemption in this story, but it's not just about the championship any more", he says.
As he fights for just the second time in two years, Jones thinks he should be forgiven. You take from that, you learn from that - learn from all the mistakes. I got caught up in my own s**t. His hand won't be raised in the octagon this weekend. "Maybe later, but not right now".
Not long after Jones told me that, he was pulled from the UFC 200 main event against Cormier after the USADA informed Jones of a potential doping violation that would eventually lead to that one-year suspension. "So I need this high-level competitor to retire and know I was a bad mama jama in my day".
"This is my era, if I win Saturday night, I'm the greatest fighter ever", Cormier said.
Lesnar vs Jones would be the ideal fight at the flawless time for both guys, and may be well worth the wait.
"Outside of that, to me, it's the highest level of mixed martial arts people can truly experience".