Daniel Cormier thinks Jon Jones has the ability to “reach people at a different level.” | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
While Daniel Cormier hasn’t quite gotten past his feud with Jon Jones in the days since UFC 182, news that his rival tested positive for cocaine metabolites prior to their bout does little to ease the pain of the final outcome.
Cormier lost a unanimous verdict to Jones this past Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, a disappointing ending for the American Kickboxing Academy product following weeks of intense hype, promotion and bad blood.
“The fight is what it is. He won the fight,” Cormier said during an appearance on UFC Tonight. “I didn’t believe in any way, shape or form I won that fight.”
Despite their beef, Cormier finds no joy in the champion’s misfortune. In fact, the former Olympian seemed more disappointed that Jones would do something to slow his ascent as one of combat sports top stars.
“This is a guy that has the ability to reach people at a different level,” Cormier said. “We all praised Anderson Silva for being the greatest fighter of all time. We praise all these other people but not many people actually can reach outside of the sport and outside the world of mixed martial arts, and I believe that Jon is one of those people that can do that.”
In a statement, Jones apologized for his transgressions and revealed that he has entered a drug treatment facility. At the moment, he is still expected to defend his light heavyweight crown against the winner of the UFC on Fox 14 bout between Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson at a later date. The Jackson-Wink MMA representative has already emerged as one of the sport’s all-time greats with a string of dominant title defenses. However, Cormier believes Jones’ image continues to suffer because of his actions outside of the arena.
“It’s just very unfortunate that these incidents keep happening after he has these unbelievable performances to where it kills his momentum,” Cormier said. “He should be a star among stars. He should be going to places like the ESPY awards and be as recognized as some of the greatest basketball players in the world.
“But because of the things he does outside of the Octagon, it holds him back.”
Such sentiments do not mean that Cormier is ready to bury the hatchet with his recent foe. The wound from his defeat is still fresh, as is the animosity. The best way for Cormier to achieve closure would be to square off with Jones sometime down the road and avenge his defeat. Whether that eventually happens remains to be seen.
“Those feelings they don’t just go away because we fought once. Jon and I still have things to deal with, and I think the only way we’re going to be able to do that is if we stare across from the cage at each other again,” Cormier said. “Hopefully the outcome will be different.”