UFC light heavyweight Daniel Cormier isn’t ready to drag current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones through the streets just yet, regardless of the rivalry the two have shared for several years. Jones was revealed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to have tested positive for an anabolic steroid, turinabol, following his rematch with Cormier back in July at UFC 214.
Jones took home the light heavyweight strap after knocking out Cormier in the third round of their much-anticipated bout, ending the long running rivalry with Cormier with an emphatic second victory over him. Jones is now staring down the barrel of a potential four-year suspension, being his second positive drug test in just two short years.
Jones had previously tested positive for banned substances prior to his first scheduled rematch with Cormier in July 2016 at UFC 200. The fight was then called off, with Cormier instead facing former middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva on short notice, while Jones was suspended for a year.
Cormier has chosen to stay classy in defeat, even when it’s possible his opponent may have been knowingly using steroids in the lead-up to their rematch. “I haven’t been able to move past this, start to deal with it again because nothing’s changed,” Cormier said during an episode of the Fight Society podcast. “Everybody is kind of in a waiting pattern, waiting to see what happens with his ‘B’ sample. That’s it. I think we all want some sort of conclusion to the whole deal when there really is no conclusion to be had right now.
“I think people owe that to Jon, his team, and everybody else, USADA, to give them time to get all this stuff done. Get that ‘B’ sample in, make sure everything is tested thoroughly, and then we can all start to move forward.”
All fighters who test positive under the USADA testing procedures are allowed to defend allegations of banned substance use. It could end taking a period of several months for the dust to settle and for questions to be answered, but Cormier isn’t willing to condemn Jones just yet.
“I think as an adult you have to know that this isn’t done,” Cormier explained. “I think people want a resolution to it faster than it can be had. I’m just kind of sitting here taking it for what it is. ‘Cause right now… what he has done has not been confirmed. Will it be confirmed? Maybe. But as of right now, he still is entitled to the process.
“Now is it upsetting? It’s very upsetting. It’s still very upsetting that we’re going through this again. It’s upsetting that anything like this could happen, and the more you learn about the thing that he was caught it makes it even more disappointing. All you can do is wait for that ‘B’ sample and see what happens.”
But what of Jones’ legacy, being widely believed to be the greatest mixed martial artist of all time? Where does Cormier see Jones ranking, having damaged his career in a series of controversies including a number of DUI incidents, a hit and run involving a pregnant woman and a positive test for cocaine mixed in between?
“I think enough is enough now if I’ve got to be honest with you,” Cormier said. “I think it’s very difficult to consider someone the greatest of all time when there [are] these types of allegations tied to them. I think this is the best way I could say it right now without going too far in one direction, just because I don’t know. I’ve said it before that he’s the greatest of all time. I’ve been in there with him twice, and I know that he’s a tremendous fighter. I believe he would have had a ton of success without doing anything wrong.
“But when you start trying those negative things to your name and your legacy, it’s kind of hard to say this guy is the best fighter of all time.”