Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz are running it back a third time in Golden Boy Promotions. Wanderlei Silva and Quinton Jackson, in Bellator, are about to have their fourth meeting. But the greatest rivalry in all of mixed martial arts may belong to Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.
Despite only meeting twice, the two men were undoubtedly going to be on each other’s radars once it was announced Jones was cleared to return to active competition this October. Following a ruling by an arbiter acting on behalf of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Jones was given a 15-month suspension applied retroactively.
That means it was applied to the summer of 2017 – right after Jones bested Cormier for the second time. While his second triumph was overturned to a no contest because of his failed drug test, he remains the only main to knock Cormier out in a fight. And, in general, he’s still the only man to ever beat the current heavyweight and light heavyweight champion.
That means it should come as no surprise the two are already back at one another’s throats. It all started when Cormier posted screenshots of himself ignoring USADA’s calls following promises to do so.
Jones lit into Cormier, posting on Instagram and saying the only reason Cormier wouldn’t answer is because he knew if he ever accepted the fact Jones was deemed innocent, it would destroy the illusion Cormier had created. He called Cormier’s belt fake, and scoffed at the fact he blamed the knockout loss on a trace of performance enhancer. He said the fact Cormier couldn’t beat him killed Cormier, and said he hoped Cormier got motivated to try a third time, as it would save Jones the trouble of having to dig him up.
Ouch – that’s a tough sentiment, and it echoes the seriousness of the two men’s rivalry. But Cormier wasn’t going to take that without firing back. He noted that if Jones was innocent, he would’ve never been suspended and would’ve never had to stand in front of so many arbiters. He reminded Jones that he himself had been tested 70 times and never failed, and then brought up the rumors of Jones being a snitch.
Jones was believed to have gotten a reduced sentence for providing information to USADA about other potential dopers within the sport. Cormier criticized this move, saying Jones wasn’t the only one offered such a deal but was the only one low enough to take it.
The banter continued on. Jones posted a picture of himself clad in an orange jumpsuit from his mug shot, telling Cormier that was the face of a man that would have him washing his underwear, and that he ran Cormier’s house.
The two may indeed square off again, but both have other matters to attend to first. Cormier is planned for a heavyweight title defense against Brock Lesnar, while Jones is rumored to battle Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight title.