UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was supposed to defend his title against Alexander Gustafsson on September 27th in a rematch of their incredible fight from last year. But Gustafsson was forced to pull out of the fight due to a knee injury, and undefeated former US Olympian Daniel Cormier has stepped up to replace him in the fight against Jones. And while the actual fight between Jones and Cormier might be less exciting than the rematch between Jones and Gustafsson, the build to the fight over the next two months should be nothing short of awesome.
Barbs are already being fired back and forth between the two men, less than 24 hours after the fight was announced. And because we live in a new digital age, the first shots were fired on social media by Jones.
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) July 24, 2014
Then, Cormier revealed a new shirt from his sponsor Cage Fighter, making reference to the champion (whose nickname is Bones).
Cormier stayed on the offensive, going onto UFC Tonight (where he works as an analyst on occasion) to discuss the fight.
Jones is illustrating his confidence in another victory in his usual understated manner.
This is the fight I wanted in the first place. Nothing like fresh meat #Champion2014
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 24, 2014
He also got his daughter involved in the trash talking!
I feel like I need to say this again – we’re not even 24 hours removed from the announcement of this fight. The fight doesn’t take place for another nine weeks. These guys already have me invested in seeing them throw down. Something missing in so many high profile UFC fights is the lack of real emotion – so many interviews center around respect and “doing my best”. When two guys have a true dislike for each other and start showing it, that’s great for business.
The UFC can build these two guys up outside of the cage and turn this fight into a true grudge match that people are invested in, and that’s only a good thing for this fight and this pay-per-view. With four shows (including a set of prelims for UFC 177) on Fox Sports 1, and one show on Fox before the PPV takes place, there are going to be plenty of opportunities for fans to get more and more excited about this fight.