Daniel Cormier Says USADA’s Split with the UFC Doesn’t Excuse Jon Jones’ Past Indiscretions: ‘We Can’t Recreate History’

'DC' offered his take on Jones' demand that his 2017 win-turned-no-contest be reinstated following USADA's split with the UFC

Jon Jones
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Jon Jones can’t erase his mistakes under the watchful eye of USADA just because the anti-doping agency is parting ways with the UFC. 

That is according to Daniel Cormier, former two-division titleholder and perpetual nemesis of the reigning undisputed heavyweight world champion. 

Jones defeated Cormier in a rematch at UFC 214 via knockout to reclaim the 205-pound crown. However, the result was later overturned to a no-contest when Jones’ pre-fight drug test samples came in positive for the anabolic steroid turinabol. Jones was slapped with a 15-month suspension, significantly reduced from the maximum of four years after USADA determined that Jones did not knowingly take a banned substance.

With the news of USADA’s relationship with the UFC expiring at the end of 2023, ‘Bones’ made it clear that he wanted the Nevada State Athletic Commission to reverse the reversal, giving him back his win over Cormier in 2017. 

Sharing his thoughts on Jones’s demand, Cormier made it clear that USADA’s impending exit does not mean that everything that happened under their tenure is null and void.

“We can’t recreate history now,” Cormier said during his appearance on The MMA Hour. “We can’t go back and say, ‘I beat USADA.’ It’s not like it didn’t happen. They’re not saying USADA was wrong and anything that happened during the course of the time that USADA was here is null and void. It’s all still relevant, it’s just that they’re not going to be the doping organization used [by the UFC] anymore. That doesn’t mean that anything over the course of time that USADA was in effect is null and void.

“Because then what? Michael Bisping was never the champ? If not for USADA, Michael Bisping probably would have never won that belt because the moment Michael Bisping got to play on even terms, he beat everyone.”

Cormier went on to clarify his statement, suggesting that USADA’s elimination of TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) is what ultimately leveled the playing field, allowing fighters like Michael Bisping to thrive and become world champions.

“Guys were openly saying they were doing TRT,” Cormier added. “They were openly saying it and then when USADA came, they got rid of it. You remember Cung Le? He was the man. TRT. He openly said he was using TRT. USADA came, Mike beat him, earned the title fight, and became the champ. I’m telling you, bro. It really did level the playing field.”

On Feb. 27, 2014, the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted to ban TRT after the practice was routinely and blatantly abused by athletes.

“My point being that USADA wasn’t wrong,” Cormier concluded. “USADA is just not the testing organization.”

Daniel Cormier Believes Tom Aspinall Deserves to Be the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion Amid Jon Jones’ Absence

Originally scheduled to headline UFC 295, Jon Jones was forced to withdraw from his main event matchup with Stipe Miocic after suffering a pectoral tear. The promotion immediately booked an interim title fight between Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich. 

Typically an interim champion immediately moves on to face the undisputed titleholder once cleared to return. This is not one of those situations.

Instead, UFC CEO Dana White revealed plans to move forward with Jones vs. Miocic in 2024 with the winner facing Aspinall in a title unification clash. 

The decision has earned significant criticism with many suggesting that Jon Jones should have vacated his title, as previous champions like Jiri Prochazka and Jamahal Hill have done when facing a lengthy layoff. Daniel Cormier echoed similar sentiments when talking about Aspinall’s predicament.

“I said before the fight when Sergei lost that this fight was for the undisputed title because if Jones and Stipe are only going to fight each other, then you cannot have Tom Aspinall defend the interim championship,” Cormier said. “Jones and Stipe don’t need the title to be on the line. They can just fight and that’s enough. Call it for the greatest of all time. It doesn’t matter. Create a belt.

“Tom Aspinall is the guy that’s going to lead the heavyweight division for years to come, so yes. I believe that he should be the undisputed champion. Jones is the undisputed champion. He earned that in the Octagon by beating Ciryl Gane, but if he’s only going to fight Stipe and that’s not for another 6-8 months, put Tom Aspinall as the champ and I don’t think anybody would bat an eyelash.”

Some fans have already disputed Jones’ status as the true undisputed champion considering the fact that he never fought the previous titleholder, Francis Ngannou. Asked for his take, Cormier said:

“I would have loved to him and Francis fight and Francis was the undisputed champion, but then Francis left. You can only fight the people in front of you. If I say Jones can’t be undisputed because he never beat Francis, how can I call myself the champion of the world when I never beat Jones? And if I’m not the champion of the world back then, I’m never a double champion.”

Watch the full interview below:


Published on November 29, 2023 at 7:17 pm
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