Mycket stod på spel när Daniel Cormier mötte Jon Jones för andra gången på UFC 214. Under Jones frånvaro var Cormier mästaren i lätt tungvikt i nästan tre år och en vinst mot Jones hade tveklöst cementerat honom som en av de bästa i sin generation.
Det gick dock inte som Cormier ville.
Han blev träffad i tredje ronden av en huvudspark som var början på slutet och förlorade matchen. Nästan tre veckor senare bröt han tystnaden när han medverkade i The MMA Hour där han berättar att det mesta han vet om UFC 214 kommer från andra då han ännu inte har tittat på matchen.
Right now, so far, I’m still kind of playing the guessing game, as to how the fight was going and how everything played out. Because I asked people around me, like my coaches and my friends, they’ll talk to me about the fight, and from what everybody tells me, I think watching the fight would probably do more harm than good, because they were saying that we were fighting pretty even up until the kick, and I think it would maybe disappoint me.
I’m not sure I’m ready for that emotionally yet, to watch that, especially if they are telling me the truth in regards to how the fight was going. And it was such a simple mistake, and I think that’s why it sucks. Because I don’t miss head kicks like that, and it’s not like it was a head kick off a punch combination or anything like that. You watch Donald Cerrone when he lands that beautiful combination on Rick Story, you can see how the head kick would land. But with this one, it just seemed like he was trying to keep me off of him. It was kind of like a kick to keep me back, and I missed it and it just caught me there on the right spot.
Cormier tror att om han på något sätt hade lyckats hålla sig på fötter eller hamnat i clinch mot buren så hade han kanske hittat ett sätt att överleva ronden.
But once I fell. I was just kinda lost. I had no idea where (I was). I was lost, like my body wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do, and I couldn’t really figure out what was going on, honestly.
Perioden sedan förlusten har varit jobbig och Cormier säger att han inte kommer gå match igen under 2017 men att han inte kommer pensionera sig. Han säger också att han inte håller något agg mot varken domaren John McCarthy eller Joe Rogan.
I don’t hold any ill will towards [Rogan]. I think he was doing his job. I don’t hold any ill will towards John McCarthy either. John McCarthy gave me plenty of opportunities to stay in this fight. I couldn’t. The Joe Rogan interview, I don’t even know what happened. I still haven’t seen it, and honestly — man, I’ll be honest with you, I’m still missing time. Like, I don’t remember any of that.
I don’t remember leaving the Octagon. Some of these photos where I was crying and I was hugging Bob (Cook), I don’t remember any of that. I remember being in the back — I feel like I came out of a fog. Like, I remember when I was in the back, they said ‘you have to go to the hospital.’ I’m like, for what? I just am still missing time. I’m missing probably, I don’t know, 10 minutes. I talked to Dana (White) and I said, ‘I’m sorry if I pushed you,’ because I remember they said I pushed somebody.
I do the TV stuff, so obviously I’ve got friends in TV, and they said that as they were watching in the Octagon, they could hear the microphone on Bob Cook, and I was asking questions, asking what happened, asking why Dana yelled at me. Then they said I was there and I was kinda tearing up, then they said that I looked up at the replay and that’s when I really broke down, because I guess I saw what happened. But I still, I don’t recall that. But again, tears and sadness mean that it means something to you, and I would do the same thing again.
Dagarna efter UFC 214 cirkulerade det ett klipp på internet där Cormier förutser sitt eget fall på ett Q&A under 2014 inför deras första match. I klippet får Jones frågan om vilka svagheter han ser hos Cormier och Cormier svarar att han lovar att bli bättre på sitt huvudsparksförsvar och sade “so don’t think you’re going to kick me in the head with your left leg.”.
Det visade sig vara exakt det som skakade Cormier på UFC 214. Cormier säger att han sett klippet.
Honestly, [the KO] happened, but at the end I’m not exactly sure that really kinda relates, because I was talking about before. I used to really dip into kicks. Like, I would literally always take my head off to the side to evade punches. With ‘Rumble,’ when I broke my nose, I literally put my face right into the kick, and man, he tried to kick me again and I dipped my head back to that side again and he missed.
With this one, I didn’t dip. I had trained, I thought I had shored up that area, so I was standing straight up when I got kicked. Now, I think the key to the sequence was that he had kicked me and tried to knee me and stuff in the body a lot, and the time that I got kicked, I was anticipating a body kick, so I went to block the body and the kick went high. But again, it was just me going forward, trying to pressure, and the kick got up fast. He really kicked up there fast, and I didn’t guess right.
Cormier säger att han inte har fokuserat så mycket på Jones efter UFC 214 utan har lagt sin energi på att spendera tid med sina nära och kära.
I haven’t really paid much attention to [Jones]. I’ve been really focusing on myself and just my family. I don’t know what’s going to become of Jon Jones or what happens in the future, but for me personally, I just kind of want to just live my life. I’m not going to really address anything that happened with him and I right now. It’s a mute point, but to think that all the bad things that have been said, all of the negative comments towards each other could just be completely gone, would be unrealistic. But, in terms of coexisting in this sport, we have to. How can I not see or be around Jon Jones when my jobs are so closely tied to the UFC?
So in that sense I will be a professional. But outside of that, I don’t really know. I thought we fought a good fight. I thought we were both fighting at the highest level of mixed martial arts, and a good strike landed that ended the fight. I’ve always respected him in that sense though. I’ve never once questioned the type of competitor that he is, he’s a fantastic competitor, and I just hope that at this point, now that he has the belt back, and he’s the UFC champion again, and the limelight will be brighter than ever, that he can handle it. I really do wish him the best in that sense.