UFC light heavyweight title challenger Daniel Cormier wasn't in the mood for Jon Jones' soft-spoken, humble act, when the two were interviewed together on a television program Monday, just minutes after their media event brawl. The fiasco began when Jones got head-to-head with Cormier and then nudged the challenger with his own head during a photo opportunity face-off on stage.
Cormier responded by shoving Jones away. The champion then pushed UFC executive Dave Sholler to the ground in order to get at Cormier, and then swung a punch.
The pair continued to rumble as the stage and backdrop came apart and others tried to break it up. Clearly, both men were riled up and angered upon meeting one another face-to-face after years of feuding.
Jones and Cormier even both took to social media sites after the brawl to continue to insult one another and promise more violence. However, when the two appeared on ESPN shortly after the melee, Jones masked passive-aggressive language with concilliatory and soft language.
Cormier didn't buy any of it. "You know what," Jones said. "First of all, I'd like to give an apology to the MGM Grand, all the fans...," Jones began.
At that point,"DC" (appearing from another location) stepped in and exclaimed, "it's so fake! It's so fake!"
Jones went on to comically describe the brief fight, apparently feigning remorse while managing to brag about it at the same time. "Definitely not proud of what I did today," Jones said.
"But, what happened was, we had a faceoff, and in he UFC, two athletes get very close in the faceoff, our heads touched, our nose rubbed together, it's a very intimate, very passionate moment for a lot of fighters [this characterization brought out another laugh from Cormier]. I've never actually had another fight put his hands on me by squeezing my throat. I reacted in self-defense by beating up Daniel."
No one appeared worse for wear or beaten up from the quick and messy scrap, of course. And Cormier followed up Jones' statement by mocking the champ's sensitive language before getting serious and saying he would not be intimidated.
"I have actually never heard a fight being described as ‘intimate and passionate,'" Cormier said with a chuckle.
"I have no idea what Jonny Jones is talking about. First off, you're right, people get close to each other. But they don't put their head against yours and nudge you forward. In my lifetime, I will never, ever allow a man, I don't care if it is Mike Tyson in his prime, I don't care if it is Wladimir Klitschko, no one will ever nudge me forward with their head and not expect a reaction....Jon Jones will never bully me."
Cormier did not apologize or attempt to aggrandize Monday's fight but instead, spoke as he always does in public - plainly and directly - and criticized Jones for not doing the same. "This guy is such a fake human being," Cormier said in conclusion.
"He's a fake individual. I don't care to learn anything about Jon Jones that I don't know. The whole incident, I don't care about the incident. I care about Sept. 27, becoming the UFC light heavyweight champion, whatever. He's weak. He's a punk, he's a liar, he's dishonest. He's a whole bunch of things that he should not be proud of being."
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- Jon Jones
- Daniel Cormier