With all of the ambiguity around Jon Jones’s new steroid allegations, Daniel Cormier’s career is up in the air.
Newly-crowned light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, tested positive for the anabolic steroid Turinabol in a pre-fight drug screening the day before UFC 214. With this information coming to light last week, it is becoming increasingly likely that Jones will be stripped of his championship for the second time unless he can prove his innocence.
If Jones’s second test by USADA yields the same results, he will be facing a ban of up to four years from MMA competition. In this time frame, it is likely that Daniel Cormier will retire, meaning that this iconic rivalry will come to a sad and abrupt end. In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Cormier had this to say:
“The sad thing is, man, I would actually fight him again. I just don’t know that there will be time because at the end of this process, if there is a suspension, I will have run out of time, because I’ve always said that I won’t be fighting at 40, and I’ve done so much better than I ever could’ve envisioned when I started this career. If this is true, as it probably is — because USADA is a very upstanding organization, they would not have said anything if they just made a mistake — then I will probably run out of time, and the last time we fought will be the last time we fought. That’s the truth.”
If Jon Jones is stripped of the belt, Cormier will be reinstated as the champion. This will mark the second time that Cormier has been crowned as a champion due to Jones’s actions, as he first won the title after beating Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in 2015 after Jones was banned due to a hit-and-run incident.
“The crazy thing was that the first time, I got a lot of, ‘you were given the belt,’ when in reality I won the belt by fighting Anthony (Johnson),” Cormier said. “This time, I think I would be given the belt because of what happened. As a competitor, I know that we fought. But if he was not fighting cleanly, then how is that fair to me?
“So if — and I keep saying ‘if’ because again, Jon is entitled to due process — if it is proven that he was dirty, then we would not have fought anyway, and I would still have my title regardless. So yeah, I will take the belt, I will be a proud champion, just as I was before because I will show people what the belt means. Now, if it comes back that it’s not dirty, then I go back to work to get a belt so that I can find a way to fight him again for a title.”
Cormier was already intending on taking some time to heal, both physically and mentally, for the rest of 2017. However, with the uncertainty surrounding Jon Jones and the fate of the Light Heavyweight Championship, Cormier’s career appears to be in limbo until the situation is resolved.
“I think if anything, this whole deal with Jon probably gives me more time (on the shelf) because I’m going to have to wait to see what happens with him and the championship and everything,” Cormier said. “When that’s all finalized, then I can start to plan going forward. I had the option to fight this year and turned it down. Imagine if I would’ve taken a fight and then been stuck in this thing in the middle of the fight camp? That’s not the best situation to be training for something under, so I’m just going to wait.
“I’ve got a lot of color commentary duties coming up and UFC Tonight obviously is my main job, so I’ve got some things coming up, and I’m going to enjoy my family, man. I mean, I fought twice this year, had three training camps last year. I only fought once but I had three training camps last year. So I’m going to enjoy my family. I’m going to go to Pittsburgh, I’m going to go watch Luke (Rockhold) beat David Branch … and then I’m just going to get back in the gym and start helping my teammates, and see how this thing plays out. That’s really all we can do, is wait and see.”