Daniel Cormier knows he will probably never face Jon Jones inside the UFC Octagon again but it’s nearly impossible for the two fighters to avoid talking about each other.
As Jones has prepared to make his return to action at UFC 232, he’s done several interviews where he addressed his positive drug test for his last fight against Cormier that showed trace amounts of steroids in his system.
Jones has openly admitted that he has no idea how the illegal substance got into his body but he’s said repeatedly that the steroids in his system amounted to a ‘pinch of salt’ in an ‘Olympic size swimming pool’ as proof that nothing was enhancing his performance.
During a recent appearance on ESPN, Jones added ‘screw Daniel Cormier’ for questioning the validity of his innocence after USADA ultimately suspended him for 15 months with an independent arbitrator declaring that he was ‘not intentionally cheating’.
Perhaps the biggest problem that Jones has with Cormier is that he believes his comments about the drug test and subsequent suspension are an attempt to take away from the knockout win he earned over him in their rematch (the victor was later overturned by the California State Athletic Commission).
In response, Cormier said yet again that he’s not taking away Jones’ victory but his question for the former light heavyweight champion remains the same when it comes to the positive drug test.
“My deal’s this, I never once said he didn’t win the fight. I’ve never said that. Even when people would tell me ‘no you didn’t get a fair shake, it’s not cool, he cheated’, I said the guy won the fights,” Cormier said when speaking on the ‘Jim Rome’ podcast. “Cause I’ve always said, I’m sure he’s not the only guy I’ve ever fought who’s on steroids. I’ve always said that. I’ve been very open about that but when you say a pinch of salt — why was the pinch of salt there?
“Why was it there without any explanation of why it got there? That’s my question. Why didn’t I have a pinch of salt in the swimming pool? That’s where my issue is. You win the fight, go ahead and win the fight but don’t leave anything to question is my response. Don’t have a pinch of salt. Don’t have tainted sex pills. Just don’t have that stuff and then we never have these discussions to discredit the things that you have done. That’s my response.”
Cormier, who has been drug tested for most of his adult life from wrestling in college to international competitions, two Olympic cycles and during his fighting career, says that he’s somehow managed to avoid the pitfalls of being accused of cheating because he knows exactly what he’s putting into body.
That’s why Cormier just can’t buy the excuse that Jones has no idea how steroids got into his system — even in a trace amount — because there are thousands upon thousands of athletes being drug tested every day while competing at a high level who have never had the same problems.
“He knows. All these guys that are getting caught for cheating, they know,” Cormier said when firing back at claims that athletes have no idea how banned substances get into their bodies. “You don’t have a massive amount of guys in the same sport that are able to continuously and constantly test clean but then a select few that continue to pop positive for steroids. And they’ve never had an excuse, never had a reason as to why they tested positive. It just doesn’t make sense.
“The guy has all these physical advantages. He’s taller, he’s bigger, he’s got all the advantages. Why are you trying to swing them in your favor even more? It’s just unfortunate the guy has tied so many negatives to an otherwise pretty incredible career.”
Because Cormier has set a deadline on his career for March 2019 as his 40th birthday approaches, he knows that it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever stand across from the cage against Jones again.
Unfortunately, Cormier knows he’ll always be tied to Jones because of their heated rivalry and there are going to be inescapable questions surrounding that last fight due to the positive drug test.
“Pinch of salt, no pinch of salt. You still had steroids in your system in a fist fight,” Cormier stated. “Not cool.”