MUMBAKKI DANIEL FORONDA
Monday, August 4, 2014, I am writing this column a few hours after Jon Jones punched Daniel Cormier outside the Octagon and during a press conference. The two fighters appeared in front of the media and MMA fans to promote their upcoming title fight on September 27, 2014 for the light heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). This is only the second time that these men stood in front of each other. They first met in 2010 during the Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez UFC showdown, and immediately felt that they are not going to be friends. For the September 27 UFC bout, Jon Jones was scheduled to fight Alexander Gustaffson, but due to a knee injury, Daniel Cormier was called to replace Gustaffson. It was a short two-month notice for Cormier (who postponed a knee surgery) so he can take a shot at the title.
After Jones was told that Cormier is stepping up to replace Gustaffson, Jon “Bones” Jones commented that Cormier is “not in shape” and “needs to lose weight.” Daniel Cormier is always seen competing in the heavyweight class and if he is aiming for the light heavyweight division, he indeed needs to drop his weight down. Daniel Cormier is so confident as a wrestler that he told Jones that he will be taken down to the ground 100 times out of 100. Jones responded by telling Cormier to try and take him down 5 times in the entire 5 rounds of their scheduled fight.
UFC President Dana White was supposed to be the middle man for these two fighters when they were presented to the media on Monday. But the UFC big boss was busy somewhere and so the smaller and lighter Dave Sholler (PR Manager for UFC) represented White in the occasion. Sholler called Jones and Cormier to stand in front of each other on stage for the photo op session when the taller Jones deliberately bumped and pushed his forehead against the head of the smaller Cormier. Cormier violently pushed Jones away.
Angered, Jones threw a punch on Cormier’s face that escalated into a scuffle. Sholler tried to stop the two men but with his diminutive frame, was easily tossed to the side like a paper doll. The two men fell off the stage with Jon Jones mounting Cormier and raining down punches on his face.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Francisco Aguilar is now reviewing the video of the incident to determine if a disciplinary action is in order.