The rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones has been scheduled twice and canceled twice – first in April 2016 and again in July 2016.
Here’s hoping the third time’s a charm.
Cormier, the UFC light heavyweight champion, will square off against Jones this Saturday at UFC 214 in Anaheim, California.
“This is happening this weekend,” Cormier said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I’m 100 percent sure. I’m already here in Anaheim, and Jon’s here. I don’t think there’s any way this could fall by the wayside again.”
UFC fans hope it doesn’t. Jones (22-1) beat Cormier (19-1) at UFC 182 in January 2015 but has only fought once since then, beating Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 in April 2016. Still, that hasn’t stopped Jones from talking a little trash, saying Cormier, 38, hasn’t progressed as a fighter in recent years.
“I don’t really care if he respects me as a peer,” said Cormier, who has won four straight matches. “I don’t care how he views me. I’m just going to continue to do things the way that I do them. He said I haven’t progressed, but how do we know he progressed? He’s been gone for two-and-a-half years. Dude doesn’t fight. How can a guy that doesn’t fight sit there and say, ‘You haven’t progressed’? You’ve been on the couch the whole time.”
Much of that has been of Jones’ own doing, as he’s been stripped of the light heavyweight title – twice.
Cormier pulled out of the original rematch due to injury, while Jones, who turned 30 last week, pulled out of the second rematch due to a failed drug test.
“When I had to fight Anderson Silva on two days’ notice, it cost me millions of dollars,” Cormier said, referring to his win at UFC 200 last July. “I don’t forgive (Jones) for that. (I’m going to give) him punishment for it on Saturday night. There’s no way I’m going to forgive him for that.”
The disdain between the two fighters isn’t manufactured, either. Cormier said they’ve always had a “combative” relationship, mainly because of Jones’ I’m-better-than-you attitude.
Cormier would love nothing more than to embarrass Jones in front of everyone.
“Embarrassing him, it would be icing on the cake, and it would be very, very fulfilling – just to really show him in the very early moments of the octagon that times have changed and the sport has moved on in your time away,” Cormier said. “If I allow him to get comfortable and start to get his sea legs back, it’ll be tough. I need to show him right away that this ain’t the same fight you experienced last time. This octagon is new now. I’m going to show him that on Saturday night.”