Daniel Cormier Initially Fretted He Would Lose UFC Title Shot with Jon Jones Injured

August 12, 2014
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Daniel CormierDaniel Cormier had been waiting a long time for a shot at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

When Alexander Gustafsson suffered an injury that forced him out of his opportunity to challenge the champ at UFC 178, Cormier immediately stepped up. Cormier accepted the fight despite a nagging knee injury that he had intended to rehab with his eyes on fighting the winner of Jones vs. Gustafsson II.

Now, with Jones suffering a leg injury in training, Cormier’s Sept. 27 showdown with Jones will have to wait a few months longer. The fight has been rescheduled for UFC 182 on Jan. 3, 2015.

SEE ALSO: Jon Jones Out of UFC 178 with Injury

Although it is surely disappointing, the postponement could end up being a blessing in disguise for Cormier, who can know allow his knee to heal and be better prepared with a full training camp.

“I was ready, but now I’m very, very disappointed that I have to wait,” said Cormier on Tuesday’s edition of America’s Pregame on Fox Sports 1, before adding, “I’ll get a full training camp now.”

Cormier did undergo a few moments of angst when he first heard that Jones was out with an injury. Cormier, after all, had been a late replacement for Gustafsson, who is on track to also be healthy by January.

“There were a lot of questions whenever I initially heard that (Jones) was out of the fight. You gotta remember that I replaced Alexander Gustafsson,” said Cormier. “So when I heard that Jon was hurt, now him and Gustafsson are now on the same schedule in order to be healthy. So my first question was, I don’t have to go behind Gustafsson now, right?

“And I was assured it’s going to be me in January, not Gustafsson. He’s not going to take my place.”

Cormier’s reassurance came from UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, so it now appears that Gustafsson will be the one having to wait for Jones vs. Cormier to play out, despite the change in the timeline.

With the angst of a bumping back down the queue behind him, Cormier can now begin the process of putting the injury, and the black mark of a recent media day brawl between he and Jones, behind him. He can now start to focus on the idea that he will no longer be a late replacement and can get in a full training camp for his shot at the belt.

SEE ALSO: Video of Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier Brawl

“It’s disappointing, but I’m a person that likes to look at the positives, and the positives are that I have a full training camp to get myself together and get my team ready for a big fight like this.”

That’s not to say that a small piece of him doesn’t hold it against Jones for stepping out of the fight, especially considering that Cormier himself was not 100-percent healthy when he accepted the fight.

“I don’t think he’s ducking me. Jon Jones isn’t afraid of anyone,” said Cormier. “But if I can go in there with a partially torn ACL, him hurting his ankle, I think he should have fought. Tough it up and fight. I don’t know the extent of his injury and if it’s really bad, I’ll take it back.

“I wish he would have just fought.”

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  • gc

    Why fight when your hurt just wait and everybody will be healthy, and may the best man win !

    • Dragon Kid

      If UFC waits till everyone is healthy then they will lose money and their fight cards will either be not full or it will suck.

      • gc

        So if you break your leg just go and try anyway huh? Get real man this is a championship fight, for his belt be at your best and if he beats you then you can’t say nothing. JJ at his best is hard to beat though

        • Dragon Kid

          Did you even read what I typed or did you just interpret it wrong like most people do? Probably the latter.

      • Jon Doe

        exactly.. competing hurt is part of being a professional athlete. Jones fights 2x a year if that, once in 2014, once in 2013, (I don’t consider that Chael match a fight) and in 2012 had 2 fights. However, on his way up in 2008 he put in 7 fights. He’s milking this thing hard, 2011 was his last Championship years.
        Back in the Pride days guys would fight 2-3 times in the same night. Many of home were severely injured. These days every time a Champion gets a boo boo, he takes time off from “injury”. UFC is becoming like boxing where guys fight once per year or every other year

        • Sir_Roy

          You make some good points. Sign of our times I suppose. MMA is growing so rapidly, that these top tier folks run the roost and dictate their career more and more. Back in the heyday, MMA had yet to be mainstreamed or globally popularized and fighters had to get their money whensoever they could. But is this progression seriously a bad thing? Guess it depends from which end of the gun you’re standing on. I think it’s a positive that these fighters are getting exploited less and less and have more and more leeway to dictate their limitations without constantly putting the longevity of their career on the line. Two fights a year at that level of competition is plenty. And besides, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I like anticipating the next Jones fight. Seeing him compete 4 or 5 times a year might be a little less exciting.

          • Jon Doe

            I think a Champion should fight whenever a contender arises. I also feel the Champion should accept any fight the fans and the promotion puts forth. It is my opinion that a pro fighter does not get to pick and choose who they want to fight. Imagine if the NFL allowed teams to pick who they wanted to play. As for how many fight a fighter should put in, it is relative to the contenders available. If no contenders are present, then they as Champion, are privilege to take a breather, a little R&R. If a contender so happens to be present one after another then it is the Duty of the Champion to defend his belt until he leaves no doubt who the Champion is. As for injury, an MMA fighter is like being a drug dealer. They both know the risk and rewards. They both know the dangers but they also know of the glory. They both know what they are getting into. Being a drug dealer you know at some point you are going to get arrested. You can take the cowards way out and snitch or you take it because you already knew and accepted it was coming. Every fighter knows at some point they will get injured, as long as it is not catastrophic, it is their Job to perform. Period. I see NFL players running, tackling with no fingers, torn knee, sprain ankle etc. Byron Leftwich was being carried play to play. Guys concussed dont even know what day it is. If you can play, you play unless you snap your leg like Paul George/Anderson Silva, then obviously..
            Aldo fought with a broken foot, DC 2 bad knees, Rich Franklin a broken hand on and on.

          • Sir_Roy

            I think we’re arguing two separate points. I agree, a fighter should not get to choose who the #1 contender is. He fights the next challenger in line no doubt. I also agree, a champion needs to accept fights and legitimate challenges that the promotion sets before him without moaning and groaning or picking and choosing. But c’mon, you cannot expect a Champion to get into the Octagon with a broken anything. We’re not living in the dark ages here.

            There are also varying degrees of “broken” bones and stages of healing in any injury. There’s a point when I catch a flu where there’s not a chance in hell I’m crawling out of bed. 24hrs later, while I still have said flu, I man up and get my arse to work regardless. Let the doctors and licensed comissions decide who is fit to fight I say. The fighter always has the final word all the same. Then it’s up to the promotion to decide what to do with said fighter should his decision be a breach in contractual obligations.

        • TheCerealKiller

          Jones career averages 3.5 fights a year. PRIDE was a pile of steroids and fake fights. If you need the links to old fighters admitting it, I’ll Google it for you.

  • TheCerealKiller

    Jones is a smart fighter and the champ. Why would he go into a fight injured? He has everything to lose and nothing to gain. Dan had to take the fight with an injury, or not get the title shot for a while.

    • Jon Doe

      lol.. the fanboys making excuses to protect their hero. shocking..

      • TheCerealKiller

        Wait a sec, you’re calling me a fan boy? Who has DC beaten? I’ll answer that for you… washed up, old HW’s and washed up or nobody LHW’s.

        So who are you a fanboy for? Guys that lost to Davis? Guys that haven’t beaten anybody in their class? Your move…

  • afanofhonestfighters

    that photo is amazing hahaha

  • Guest 666

    Alexander Vs. Rashad co headliner ? i mean DC could fight Rashad but im so pupmed for DC and Jones i got DC call me crazy but i could def see him winning this

  • brad king

    haha lots of ppl from jackson/winkle dont wish to be humiliated by a beast like dc, so fake injury is best way out

    • TheCerealKiller

      The fight is still on, you don’t make any sense?

      • brad king

        winklejohn do i have to make it more clear. Prized fighters who were with this camp suddenly get hurt, i wouldn’ t want to lose my title easily so id pretend to be hurt also! Cant get any clearer sorry

        • TheCerealKiller

          Being the champ doesn’t make money. Well, a “little” from sponsors, but you have to fight for the big pay day.

          I’m guessing you’re one of those morons saying Jones is dodging. Who has he dodged? Who has DC fought? Look at the records next to each other. DC is basically nobody, but it should still be a good fight for Jones.

  • Seth

    I have funny feeling DC may join guys like Nick Diaz, Jake Shields or Luke Rockhold – as the guys that are god damn good…but just not good enough… :/

  • lowlb

    The Nevada Commission said there would be repercussions from the shoving incident and the death threat was real dumb of JJ. If JJ backs out of the fight all that goes away.
    JJ went out made some money, acted like an idiot, looked bad, and then went into damage control.

  • Jon Doe

    Gus got shafted,

  • eddie eagle

    All this Jones fake injury is crap and a hoax. setting up a mega fight card in january. sad fans drink this hype hoax BS up.

  • TKDGuy

    I get that these guys are training in a combat sport, but this seems to happening more and more lately. What is up with these trainers that they keep injuring fighters? Or is it that we are just hearing about it more often now, and/or fighters are not fighting even with relatively minor injuries?

    • Antonio Norwood

      Many fighters like Anderson SIlva and many others come with injuries or had past injuries that can never really get fully repaired I.e. Tito Ortiz’s back. They train as though they are fighting the worst possible situation, they try to maximized their chance to win, but you need to know your limits and express them to your trainer, but most guys are too macho for that lol.

  • eddie eagle

    Cormier will snap Jones in two long strands. Cormier is one mean dude.