It was certainly a tumultuous week for Daniel Cormier. From preparing for the biggest fight of his life against Jon Jones to wondering if he’d even compete on the card and then ending up being relentlessly booed by fans at UFC 200 when he chose to ground legendary striker Anderson Silva to win a unanimous decision in a short notice fight, Cormier certainly is glad that it’s all over.
But that doesn’t necessarily put an end to the turmoil surrounding him.
It was revealed that Cormier had to take a pay cut to face Anderson Silva at UFC 200. Cormier’s purse was originally set to be $1 million to face Jones and was slashed in half to $500,000 with the opponent switch after Jones was pulled after testing positive for two banned substances in a June 16 drug test administered by USADA. Although Cormier didn’t complain about it publicly, Jon Jones’ manager feels that Cormier received the short end of the stick and deserved to make just as much as he was originally set to receive, if not more.
“As a team, we congratulate Daniel Cormier. He deserves everything that he gets. I feel horrible that they cut his pay in half,” Malki Kawa told The MMA Hour. Kawa also revealed that Jones “lost out on an eight-figure payday” and that he would have made more than Brock Lesnar’s $2.5 million purse. “I don’t think that was warranted at all. I think the man deserved to get paid no matter what. I think the man deserved to get paid even more money, going through all of that.”
But all Cormier can do is look forward instead of thinking about what could have been. And looking forward includes leaving everything, including Jon Jones, in his rear view window.
Cormier expressed how taxing the feud with Jones has been with SiriusXM’s Luke Thomas.
“We’ve been scheduled to fight four times. We’ve fought the once. The first fight obviously he got hurt, then he beat me in January. I got hurt the second time, and now this,” Cormier said. “It just seems as though we can’t make money together. We do good business when we do fight but we just haven’t been able to get to the octagon. It’s the weirdest thing and it keeps our story going and the reality is I don’t think we really want our story to keep going. It’s so draining and taxing mentally to be involved in this rivalry that we have.”
No matter what happens to Jones, Cormier is prepared to put the Jones beef to rest and is ready to seek new challenges as the UFC light heavyweight champion. And he doesn’t need Jones to validate him any longer.
“I’m not willing to wait at all,” Cormier said. “Even if they suspend him for just a few months, I don’t care. I’m probably gonna fight somebody different first. I need to separate myself from this a little bit, for me. For me and my mind, my mentality. I think I need to separate myself from him a little bit. It’s so emotionally taxing with everything that has happened and it hasn’t come to pass.”