UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones came out on top in his long-awaited grudge match against Daniel Cormier this past weekend at UFC 182 with a unanimous decision victory - successfully defending his title for the eighth time in the process.
"The biggest thing I wanted to do was just out-work Daniel Cormier," Jones said in a post-fight interview. "He claims to be the king of the grind and I wanted to prove him wrong, I wanted to let him know that he can't out-work me. So the fight wasn't necessarily a beautiful fight, I think tactically I've done a lot better, I've been a lot more clean. But one thing you cannot deny is I out-grinded him, I out-worked him - as simple as that. I out-wrestled him, I out-worked him and I beat him at what he's good at. It feels good."
Leading up to the January 3rd bout between Jon and DC there was much talk regarding the Olympic-level wrestling of Cormier and whether or not Jones would be able to stand up to such an elite grappler. As it turned out, Jon exceeded all expectations in the wrestling department as he landed a total of three takedowns on Daniel while his opponent was only able to score one.
"I knew we have a strong wrestling game and I knew the wrestling community was watching this so my ego was definitely involved," Jones admitted. "I wanted to show him - an Olympic wrestler, Division I All-American - I wanted to show him that I could have done great things in the sport of wrestling if I would have stuck with it."
The hatred which built up between Jones and Cormier prior to their fight was some of the most intense emotion ever seen in the sport of MMA between two rival competitors. More often than not we see things settled, or at least die down, after a fight. But it seems in this case, such is the level of dislike shared by Daniel and the UFC 205lb champ, that the beef is still strong between the two.
"I know it's always nice to be a class-act after a victory but I really hope he's somewhere crying," Jones stated unapologetically. "And I'm sure he is. He's talked so much trash to me. If he would have won this fight, he'd be at a press conference right now being just as cocky and as arrogant as he could be. I don't like him, I still don't respect him. I'm glad he got what he got, hopefully it'll shut him up."
It may be just as well that Jones and Cormier haven't hugged and made up - at least from a promotional point-of-view - as the champ seems confident that they will indeed meet again.
"Not many people are going to be able to beat Daniel Cormier. I do believe he'll be a top-three guy for the rest of his career. I'm sure he'll earn his way back to me and we'll be going at it again."