In nine days time, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will fight Daniel Cormier to decide the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion of the world. However, it wasn’t always supposed to be that way. “Rumble” was originally scheduled to fight Jon Jones before Jones was stripped of the title. As a matter of fact, “Rumble” still wants to fight Jones, and he’s disappointed that he’s not going to be.
There’s no disputing that, before he was stripped of the title, Jon Jones was the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He was unbeatable, and, whenever he returns to the UFC, he still may be. One of the men Jones dominated during his Light Heavyweight Championship reign was Daniel Cormier, but, even though Jones decimated Cormier, Johnson thinks that Cormier is a much tougher opponent for him.
“Daniel has power, he has speed, good technique. His wrestling is top notch. Nobody can deny that. For me, that’s great. And for him, that’s great. To me he’s just gonna be a tougher opponent [than Jon Jones.] He might be shorter than me, but the dude packs a lot of power.
‘DC’ is a grinder. He brings it. This is his second chance, so I know he’s going to bring it even more.”
Jon Jones was arrested after leaving the scene of a crime involving death or personal injury on April 27. Jones allegedly fled the crime-scene after he ran a red light, and crashed into a pregnant woman’s vehicle. The woman suffered a fractured arm as a result of the crash.
While Jones awaits the Bernalillo County district attorney’s decision, the title that he never lost will be up for grabs next Saturday night between one man that he’s already defeated, and another that he believed he would.
Daniel Cormier may have failed against Jon Jones back in December, but, Johnson expects to see the best version of Cormier next Saturday night because it’s going to be Cormier’s second, and maybe last, chance at becoming a UFC Champion.
“Now he has another chance and it’s just gonna be a tougher fight, for sure. I expect that. I’m a wrestler at heart and Daniel is a wrestler at heart. I know what it takes to be at this level and if you get a chance you gotta hop on it.”
UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier goes down next Saturday night, May 23. The card also features a Middleweight Title bout between UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort.
[Image via Jeff Battari / Zuffa LLC]