UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier is defending the gold in a rematch against former champion Jon Jones in the main event of UFC 214.
Even though UFC President Dana White also offered DC a fight with top ranked Jimi Manuwa, the champion turned that fight down for another opportunity at Jones.
“They offered me the Manuwa fight for July 29 in Anaheim,” Cormier said on The MMA Hour. “A week after I fought ‘Rumble’ [Johnson], Dana called me. I was on my way to Kansas City, and Manuwa was in his office and he goes, ‘you versus Manuwa in Anaheim,’ and I said, ‘well, eh,’ and he said, ‘what’s wrong,’ and I go, ‘it needs to be Jones, make it happen.’ And I badgered him and I badgered him, and I go, ‘tell me he’s ready to go,’ and he’s like, ‘I’m talking to him.’ So I go, ‘tell me he’s going to do it,’ and he goes, ‘well, I’m talking to him, we’re going get this figured out.’ And after about a week of me just badgering him, Dana goes, ‘DC calm down, I’m working on it.’ And finally it was Jones. It had to be Jones. Ariel, I want fights that get me going. ‘Rumble’ Johnson, it was like, ‘is he really going to do it this time, can he get one on me and knock me out?’ So that’s the stuff that gets my juices going. Can Jon Jones do what he did last time and beat me again? That’s what get my juices going, or otherwise I’ll just do TV, you know? They tell me, ‘you got to fight Jimi Manuwa,’ and I’m like, ‘for what? This dude has no chance, come on.’”
DC and Jones have clashed before at UFC 182, that night it was Jones who walked away champion after a unanimous decision win.
UFC 214 takes place on Saturday, July 29 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.