The fight was expected, as the two have been gunning for a rematch for the past couple of years. Jones’ personal issues and an anti-doping violation, as well as a Cormier injury, have plagued the rematch. The UFC, however, is going to give it another shot, as Jones should be eligible to return from suspension in early July.
The questions about whether or not the fight will see the light of day on July 29 remain, however, as witnessed by the difficulty in merely announcing the fight on Friday.
Jones and Cormier got into a backstage altercation before the veil was even lifted on the press conference. The sparks continued to fly on stage, as the two got down and dirty in their verbal sparring match when fielding questions from the media in Dallas.
The two could barely remain on topic when asked about fighting each other.
“You know what happened behind this stage, he’s a (expletive)! He said something to my kid, so I smacked him in the face with a water bottle,” Cormier screamed from across the stage, including an expletive that we can’t even reference here, when mentioning their backstage altercation.
Amidst all the tumult, Cormier kept going back to his doubt that Jones will even make it to the Octagon on July 29.
“I see him sitting over there, but is this guy really going to be in Anaheim? What’s this guy gonna do to mess this up this time?” Cormier questioned.
Under normal circumstances, such a fight would automatically named the headliner of almost any card. With Jones’ track record over the past few years, however, UFC president Dana White has joined Cormier in doubting the former champions reliability.
When asked about the fight’s status during the press conference, which White did not attend, Cormier, Jones, and host Jon Anik were in unison, indicating that it had not yet been determined if officials would name it the UFC 214 headlining bout.
(Video courtesy of UFC on FOX | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)