Jones beats Cormier at UFC
Jon Jones has reclaimed the lightheavyweight title with a spectacular third-round TKO over arch-rival Daniel Cormier at UFC 214.
In the most anticipated bout of the year, Jones (23-1) proved too much for the champion, stunning Cormier with a perfectly timed head kick before finishing him off with a series of brutal strikes on the ground.
It capped a remarkable comeback from Jones, arguably the best poundfor-pound MMA fighter on the planet, who was stripped of the belt after being arrested on hit-and-run charges in 2015.
He was due to return to the octagon against Cormier last July only to be banned for a year after testing positive for banned substances just three days before the scheduled title bout.
‘‘I made it back, man,’’ Jones said in his post-fight interview. ‘‘I did a lot of right things to get back in this position. Anybody at home who let yourself down, let your family down, let your peers down, your co-workers down, it’s never over, as long as you never quit it’s never over.’’
In the build-up to the fight, Jones sent speculation into overdrive when he stated his desire to fight former heavyweight champion and current WWE star Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar cannot return to the UFC until he completes a 12-month doping ban stemming from his bout with Kiwi Mark Hunt last year.
But Jones wasted little time adding fuel to the fire as he called out Lesnar from inside the cage.
‘‘Brock Lesnar, if you want to know what it feels like to get your a.. kicked by a guy who weighs 40 pounds less than you meet me in the octagon.’’
Hyped as the biggest grudge match in the UFC, Jones and Cormier’s heated rivalry dates back to 2014 when they came to blows at a promotional event.
The duo then met in the octagon a year later, with Jones defending his belt via a unanimous decision and there has been little love lost since.
Jon Jones (left) elbows Daniel Cormier during their UFC fight won by Jones in California yesterday.