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Morning Report: Jon Jones says he wants two more fights vs. Daniel Cormier to ‘crush his confidence’

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Last July, following a USADA suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, Jon Jones returned to the UFC to rematch Daniel Cormier, knocking out Cormier in the third round and reclaiming the light heavyweight title. It was a short-lived victory though, as just days later it was revealed Jones had once again failed a USADA drug test. He was stripped of the title, his win was overturned to a No Contest, and since then he has been hanging in limbo, waiting for his sentence from USADA.

But Jones seems hopeful that there is light at the end of the tunnel and the former UFC light heavyweight champion is optimistic that he will be back soon. Speaking recently with RT Sport, Jones denied any intentional wrongdoing and says he hopes he has proved that well enough to earn a reduced sentence.

“As far as the whole steroid situation, I never did them,” Jones said.

”I do believe it was found in my system, a very small amount, metabolite, but I never intentionally took any performance enhancers and I’ve been working my tail off for the last year to try and prove that. Right now we are still waiting for what they are going to do.

“I’m hoping for a reduced sentence from four years but I don’t know what’s going to happen, so I’m just staying faithful and trying to do the right things and just focusing on the things I can control while waiting.”

While Jones has been stuck on the sidelines, Cormier has kept busy, defending his light heavyweight title with a second-round TKO of Volkan Oezdemir and then moving back up to heavyweight, knocking out Stipe Miocic to become the first man to hold the heavyweight and light heavyweight belts simultaneously. It was a future that fans of the sport had long prophesized for Jones himself, ‘Bones’ says the fact that Cormier beat him to the punch bothered him at first.

“The night of that fight, I was confused,” Jones explained. “A part of me was upset at first. First, I was surprised. Then I became a little upset because Daniel Cormier was crowned the first heavyweight and light heavyweight champion and in my heart I know that Daniel Cormier is not the light heavyweight champion, so it bothered me at first.

”The next day after a few hours of being awake I realized I cannot be a hater. Someone else’s success has nothing to do with me. What God has for Daniel Cormier is for Daniel Cormier and what he has for me is for me, and so I had to find a place in my heart to be happy for him. At the same time, I feel like when I come back into the game and get my light heavyweight championship back and become a heavyweight champion simultaneously, I feel like the fans will know that I’m truly the first heavyweight and light heavyweight champion. . .

“My time will come again but I have just got to be happy for him and let him achieve his own personal level of greatness.”

Jones would, of course, love another crack at Cormier but that has now become a complicated proposition. Cormier, who turns 40 in March, has stated unequivocally that he intends to retire by his 40th birthday. He also has a planned money fight with Brock Lesnar set up for early next year. That leaves Jones very little time to resolve his issues with USADA and get in another fight with Cormier. But Jones is not deterred.

“My vision is fighting him at light heavyweight first,” said Jones. “I think that beating him a third time would really do something to his confidence. In his head, I feel like he thinks he can still beat me, especially because the fight was going fairly well until I knocked him out. I want to crush his confidence. . .

”He said to me once, ‘Jon Jones, I’ll always be that kid in your bracket,’ meaning he will always be in the same tournament as me. I’m sure he regrets that because we always see who ends up in the first place position when we go up against each other, but I want to break his will. I want to break the idea of him thinking he can beat me. I believe doing that at light heavyweight would be the smartest thing to do, for a third time.”

But Jones doesn’t stop there. In Jones’ perfect world, he gets to fight Cormier two more time before ‘DC’ retires: once at light heavyweight and then once at heavyweight. That way, he says, he can reclaim the belts he feels should be his.

“Leading into our fourth fight, a possible fourth fight for the heavyweight championship of the world, his confidence won’t be in the right spot,” Jones concludes. “It won’t, and I think it will help me take that fourth victory over him and that heavyweight championship from him. I think I have his number.

”No matter how hard he trains, I train a little bit harder. I’m a little bit younger, a bit longer, a little cuter.”

Unfortunately for Jones, Cormier does not seem to think too much of the idea.

Jones is currently serving a provisional suspension by USADA for his second failed drug test. He faces up up to a four-year suspension as a repeat offender.


Stripes. Darren Till: I want to ‘earn my stripes’ at middleweight before fighting for title.

4x Champ. A four-division UFC champ? Tyron Woodley talks joining 165, 175, 185.

War Ready. Robert Whittaker scoffs at Kelvin Gastelum’s claim he’s been in too many wars.

World Champ. Kayla Harrison expects to hold major MMA title by end of 2019.

Upset. Nicco Montano inspired by Henry Cejudo’s upset win over Demetrious Johnson.


Fight Journal for Bare Knuckle FC 2.

UFC 228 Countdown.

History of the middleweight division.

We all want that, Justin.

Latest episode of Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series.

Get some Tommy Toe Hold in your life.


Anik & Florian. Previewing UFC 228 and an interview with Cody Stamann.

Severe MMA. Discussing UFC 228, Cage Warriors, and the potential return of B.J. Penn.


Conor.

Bellator beef.

Chael came after Jon Jones for saying he couldn’t trash talk.

Wow. Mitrione looking fit.

GSP looking much smaller.


Jarred Brooks (13-2) vs. Roberto Sanchez (8-1); UFC 228, Sep. 8.

Bobby Green (24-8-1) vs. Drakkar Klose (9-1-1); UFC on FOX 31, Dec. 15.

Gerald Meerschaert (28-9) vs. Jack Hermansson (17-4); UFC on FOX 31, Dec. 15.


2013: Glover Teixeira knocked out Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night 28.


Hope everyone had a great Labor Day. It’s a short week this week and at the end of it we have a two title fights – assuming everyone makes weight on Friday, so keep it locked here for all your coverage news.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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