UFC 214 was all about if Jon Jones could exercise all the demons of the past two-and-half years, get his life back in order and once again become the UFC light heavyweight champion. He was entering only his second fight in 30 months and many questions needed to be answered.
Not only did Jones do that, he made an emphatic statement, winning by TKO at the 3:01 of the third round to once again become the UFC light heavyweight champion. Sporting News had the fight 20-18 for Cormier before the stoppage.
“I made it back, man," Jones told Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview.
Before the fight even began, to the shock of many Jones and Cormier touched gloves. Jones and Cormier went right at each other when the fight began. It didn't appear to be a good strategy for someone who fought as infrequently as Jones. Even he took Cormier down for a moment, the now-former champion got up quickly and got the fight to the inside which is what you need to do to beat Jones.
When the second round began, he was breathing heavily from his mouth but came out aggressor, punching from range and going to the body. To Cormier's credit, he kept going forward and pressuring Jones, who kept trying to circle the cage to escape danger. It didn't appear to Jones' night.
Something clicked in between the second and third round for Jones. He came out with a hard left hand to the body and a series of leg kicks. He continued to find a home to the body and you could see the confidence growing with each shot.
Then with Cormier looking down, Jones blasted him with a high left kick which wobbled Cormier. Jones sensed the end was near and the story about to be completed. After a jumping knee which Cormier was able to avoid, Jones went after and got Cormier with a knee to the mat. Six ground-and-pound punches later, the fight was over and the story was complete.
Jones was very emotional after the fight concluded, also turned the page on his rivalry with Cormier, giving him credit for the fighter and person he is.
"DC is a model husband, a model father, and a great champion," Jones said. "He’ll always be a champion."
After Cormier spoke briefly, Jones grabbed the mic and in a shocking turn of events, laid down a challenge to former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
"(Brock) Lesnar. If you want to find out what it’s like to get your ass kicked by a guy who weight 40 lbs less than you, meet me here," Jones said.
Lesnar reached out to the Associated Press to say: "Be careful what you wish for, young man.”