Former UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier lost his title on Saturday in a rematch with rival Jon Jones in the UFC 214 main event in Anaheim, Calif. Jones put Cormier away in the third round after perfectly placing a kick on the side of Cormier’s head followed by punches.
Cormier was rendered unconscious and didn’t realize what had taken place when he regained his sees. He thought the fight was stopped early by veteran referee “Big” John McCarthy, but the replay of the finish didn’t lie. Cormier was out. If anything, the stoppage may have been late.
“First off, thank you all for the kind words. I have felt the support. Congratulations to Jon Jones and his team. They did a phenomenal job and got the victory. Also, to Big John McCarthy, I would like to apologize for acting up with you. I am thankful for the time you gave me to try and defend myself and stay in the fight. You are the best in the business for a reason,” wrote Cormier.
“I also wanna thank my team and my coaches. I love you all from the bottom of my heart. Your time and energy is greatly appreciated. You guys did a wonderful job, I was ready. It’s a fist fight and things happen. Dana White and the @ufc, thank you for being the premiere organization in all of MMA. Again, congrats to Team Jones and JacksonWink,” the statement read. “Love you all. I’ll see you soon. DC”
The loss to Jones was a hard pill to swallow for Cormier. He has only lost to one fighter in his mixed martial arts career. Jones defeated him at UFC 182 in January 2015 by unanimous decision. Jones was stripped of the belt after his involvement in a hit-and-run incident prior to his expected title defense at UFC 187. Cormier stepped in as a late replacement for Jones and captured the vacant 205-pound title.
A rematch between Jones an Cormier was booked twice, but didn’t happen. They were scheduled to fight at UFC 197, but an injury forced Cormier out of the fight. They were supposed to headline UFC 200, but three days before the event, Jones was removed from the fight card after being flagged for a doping violation. The rematch finally happened on Saturday with Jones winning back the title he never actually lost inside the Octagon.