For Daniel Cormier, Latest Win Equals Another Chance to Escape Jon Jones’ Shadow

Daniel Cormier left a UFC Octagon celebrating again, though a rematch with Jon Jones looms large.Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty ImagesMike ChiappettaMMA Senior ColumnistApril 9, 2017

Somehow for Daniel Cormier, that destroyer of worlds, Anthony Johnson, was usually a thing he had to get through, twice. Like a turnstile or a fee station, on a approach to a far-off destination. 


And now a DC debate train rolls on. Next stop: Jon Jones

It’s what Cormier wants and needs, and if all goes good over a subsequent few months (and given Jones’ new history, that’s a large “if”), a rematch becomes inevitable, and Cormier gets a possibility to truly explain a belt that is already his.

Until now, he has remained in Jones’ shadow.

Even on Saturday night, a participation of a 6’4″ former champion loomed over a night’s proceedings. Jones, who is from Rochester, New York, usually over an hour’s expostulate away, finished a outing and watched from cageside, vivid during Cormier in a arise of his second-round rear-naked throttle victory.

“Is that male even authorised to quarrel yet?” Cormier pronounced on a pay-per-view promote moments after winning. “Don’t speak to me about a male that’s ineligible. When we get your s–t together and you’re prepared to fight, I’m here watchful for you, immature man. I’ve been watchful dual years. You got a initial one, though we knew after a initial one, we had many coming. As a fighter, we honour him, though we don’t see eye to eye. He’s a good fighter, though he’s still not eligible. When he gets his academics in order, he can come behind to a classroom.”

Jon Jones watched during cageside as Daniel Cormier degraded Anthony Johnson during UFC 210.Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

While Cormier did his best to execute that he’s a male using a division, a existence is that shortly enough, it will be filtered by Jones.

It has to.

Cormier, we might remember, won a championship in a deficiency of Jones, after a former belt-holder was nude in a issue of an Apr 2015 hit-and-run that Jones pleaded guilty to.

Despite violence Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson with a belt on a line (and Anderson Silva in a non-title fight), Cormier has never utterly been means to win a full honour of audiences who simply can’t erase all of Jones’ luminosity from their minds, let alone a outcome of a initial quarrel between them, that Jones won by a unilateral unanimous decision.

And for Cormier, therein lies a rub. Despite his pledge excellence, notwithstanding his superb 19-1 MMA record, his detriment to Jones seems to trump all of that, or during slightest mount out as a many poignant result.

It’s not adequate to indicate to his accomplishments and accolades. It’s not sufficient to indicate to a bullion around his waist. He has to erase a one corrupt on his record; he contingency kick a male who has never truly been defeated.

Is this fair? Is this right? 

No, not really.

Cormier has usually played a hands he’s been dealt. He’s welcomed a rematch with Jones and was set to quarrel him again twice, usually to see extenuating resources skip both pairings. 

Jones’ deficiency for a final year is totally out of his control.

All Cormier can do is quarrel a best accessible competition and continue winning. 

When he begs Jones to “get your s–t together,” it’s for a reason. At 38 years old, time is using out.

Finally, things seem to be backing adult again for him, even if Jones doesn’t feel as compelled by a hitch as some others do.

“I unequivocally don’t feel like we have unprepared business with Cormier,” Jones said during a new media press discussion (h/t The Fight Network). “I consider we have unprepared business with Anthony Johnson. We’ve had utterly a few fights that fell through, though Daniel Cormier, we kick him satisfactory and square. I’m a usually male to ever kick him. So if anyone has unprepared business, we feel he has unprepared business with me.”

Yet that isn’t totally believable. For Jones, there is zero else and no one else to demeanour brazen to once he meets all a conditions to turn eligible. Johnson would have been a constrained opponent, though after losing to Cormier on Saturday, Johnson surprisingly announced his retirement, observant he’d motionless before a hitch that this would be his final time competing. 

That stipulation was usually somewhat some-more startling than his diversion devise opposite Cormier, that consisted mostly of clinches and wrestling, dual strategy that many observers would have suggested would preference Cormier, a two-time freestyle Olympian.

Instead of focusing on holding advantage of his poignant energy corner by stretch control, Johnson breached a opening between them mixed times, radically throwing himself into a spider’s web.

“I consider Anthony has finished so good during knocking people out that when it doesn’t go his approach he panics,” Cormier pronounced on a UFC on FS1 post-fight show. “At a finish of day, he’s a wrestler. He goes behind to what he knows.”

Even a finishing method stemmed from Johnson’s misplays. Early in a second, Johnson managed a takedown, though Cormier got to his feet in a blink and sealed in tight, tripped a challenger to a belligerent and fast got to Johnson’s back. After a array of brief punches, he sunk in a throttle for a finish.

In doing so, Cormier valid again that he was a best of a authorised lot; that he stays right on Jones’ heels as a best light heavyweight of a final decade. 

But to transcend him, to emerge from that soaring shadow, there is usually one trail there, and that’s violence him. 

Cormier can fake he doesn’t wish to hear Jones’ name and that Jones isn’t estimable of stepping behind into a same mark he left behind, though a dual giants are behind on course, and a collision is unavoidable.


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