By: Jesse Donathan
In a May 14, 2019 MMAnews.com article titled, “Jon Jones Reveals Why He’s Not Moving Up to Heavyweight to Fight Daniel Cormier,” author Damon Martin writes, “Jon Jones may not like Daniel Cormier very much but he’s smart enough to respect his skills.” According to Martin, Jones realizes Daniel Cormier would have the advantage at heavyweight and refuses to concede ground to the UFC Heavyweight Champion.
“I’m a realist. Daniel Cormier’s a special athlete and everyone can be beat and I think my greatest fear would be losing to a guy like Daniel Cormier with giving him a power and strength advantage over me,” Jones said when speaking to UFC color commentator Dan Hardy. “It just doesn’t make sense.”
Jones and Cormier have a storied history together, with the two first having met in the Octagon in early 2015 at UFC 182, a fight Jones won by unanimous decision. According to a July 7, 2016 bloodyelbow.com article titled, “Opinion – Don’t cry for Jon Jones: Canceled UFC 200 main event is Daniel Cormier’s loss,” author Connor Ruebusch wrote:
“Jones had beaten Cormier once before, in January of 2015. It was shortly after that win, arguably the greatest of his career, that Jones’ world began to crumble. News of Jones’ cocaine habit emerged just days after the Cormier fight. Those same tests revealed that the champion also showed suspicious hormone levels that may or may not have indicated steroid use.”
As BoxingInsider.com previously reported in, “A Closer Look at Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sports,” not only did Jones show, “suspicious hormone levels,” but Daniel Cormier himself was well below the average 1:1 testosterone to epitestosterone (T/E) ratio considered the benchmark medical standard for normal.
Ariel Helwani wrote in his January 8, 2015 MMAfighting.com article titled, “Nevada Athletic Commission head: Jon Jones’ testosterone clean prior to UFC 182; carbon isotope ratio test conducted,” that the current UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier passed both of his USADA administered tests in the lead up to the fight, writing, “Cormier, Jones’ opponent at UFC 182, had a T/E ratio of .4 on Dec. 2 and .48 on Dec. 17. Cormier passed both those tests.” Comparatively, according to MMAfighting.com, “some have pointed to Jones’ testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio in the three tests made public this week as a cause for concern.
According to Helwani, “On Dec. 4, Jones’ T/E ratios came up as .29 and .35. Jones actually took two drug tests that day because, according to Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett, his first urine sample was “watery.” On Dec. 18, his T/E ratio came up as .19. Clearly, all three ratios were below that of the average male.”
So, while Jones is unwilling to concede a strength and size advantage to Cormier at heavyweight, the truth is he was unwilling to do so at light heavyweight as well. Consistently testing positive for banned, prohibited substances throughout his tenure as perhaps the greatest fighter the UFC has ever seen. But if, “all three ratios were below that of the average male,” as reported by MMAFighting.com and, “some have pointed to Jones’s T/E ratio in the three tests made public this week as cause for concern,” then Cormier’s hormone levels were also, “cause for concern.” With Cormier testing out at .40 and .48 T/E in comparison to the normal 1:1 ratio. The only difference between Jones and Cormier’s test results being that Jones’s results were more concerning.
There is a mass psychosis in professional sports, where the perpetually naïve fans operate under the paradigm that the vast majority of professional athletes are clean, free of prohibited drug use and abuse. And when an athlete does pop positive for a banned substance, they are the black sheep of the organization, cheaters that somehow undermined the sanctity of their prohibited, banned substance free sport that surely must exist. Yet, time and time again, athletes across the board in competitive sports test positive one by one for banned, prohibited substance. Somehow though, the paradigm never changes that the sporting industry remains free of drug use and its only the bad apples spoiling the entire batch for everyone else.
In an August 11, 2008 spiegel.de interview with former Marion Jones coach Angel Heredia titled, “The Dealer Olympias,” Spiegel would ask Heredia if he was going to watch the 2008 Beijing Olympic 100-meter final. “Of course,” Heredia replied before continuing, “but the winner will not be clean. Not even any of the contestants will be clean.” According to Spiegel, “Of eight runners,” in an open-ended question to Heredia, “eight will be doped,” in Heredia’s estimation. Yet, time and time again fans, pundits and various organizations and associations alike perpetuate the myth of a clean sporting event.
And within this mass psychosis, is the mechanism itself that allows other athletes to fly under the radar. As long as everyone thinks its only the guys who get caught that are cheating, it allows the other athletes who are fortunate enough not to get caught to reap the rewards of their own performance enhancing drug use despite the fact deep down inside, when the fears of legal repercussions and politically correct based peer pressure recede; all but the most naïve among us know the real truth yet we still dwell in the fantasy rainbows, unicorns and lollipop fantasy based mass psychosis of a clean field of play.
According to an August 12, 2009 mmajunkie.com article titled, “U.S. Olympic wrestling team captain Daniel Cormier announces move to MMA,” it was reported that, “Cormier’s wrestling accomplishments are in no short supply.” MMAjunkie.com would go on to write that, “Daniel Cormier, a two-time Olympian and the U.S. squad’s 2008 Olympic team captain, was a two-time JUCO national champion and NCAA Division I runner-up at Oklahoma State University in 2001.”
Cormier is famously undefeated at heavyweight, having moved down to light heavyweight to avoid cramping teammate Cain Velasquez’s reign as UFC Heavyweight Champion in an honorable display of friendship, respect and loyalty to someone who welcomed Cormier with open arms to the American Kicking Academy (AKA) in San Jose, California. Today, Velasquez is quite a long way away from another UFC heavyweight title shot and according to Cormier himself, his own career is nearing its completion.
While admirable, I always thought Cormier’s move to light heavyweight was a mistake. While I was sure he would be successful there, and barring two fights with a performance enhancing drug using Jon Jones, he was, I see no reason for Cormier to fight Jon Jones at light heavyweight again.
Cormier was and still is undefeated at heavyweight, the only two blemishes on his professional mixed martial arts career are to an asterisks Jon Jones. Cormier is in the driver’s seat here, not Jon Jones. If they are to fight again, the only weight class I am interested in seeing the fight take place is at heavyweight. And if Jones’ is unwilling to concede a size and strength advantage to Cormier, despite Cormier doing exactly that not once, but twice against a performance enhanced Jon Jones, then I do not really see a reason to continue talking about this fight beyond the fact the UFC would surely like to make it happen one way or another.