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.
“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.”