MMA H.E.A.T. brings you a live stream of the UFC 214: Cormier vs Jones 2 media conference call which includes UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, #1 ranked welterweight contender Demian Maia, as well as UFC women’s featherweight title challengers Cris Cyborg and Tonya Evinger.
UFC 214 takes place Saturday, July 29, 2017 inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California and MMA H.E.A.T. will be on location sharing all of the highlights. Light heavyweight champion Cormier looks to avenge his only career loss against pound-for-pound great Jones in the main event. Two more world titles will also be on the line when 170-pound kingpin Tyron Woodley defends his welterweight belt against jiu jitsu ace Demian Maia and Cris Cyborg and Tonya Evinger collide for the vacant women’s featherweight championship.
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Operator: Good day and welcome to the UFC 214 conference call. Today’s conference call is being recorded. Now, I would like to turn the conference over to Matt Radmanovich. Please go ahead.
Matt Radmanovich: Thank you very much and hi, everyone, and welcome to the UFC 214 conference call. UFC 214 Takes place Saturday, July 29 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. And it features an incredible three title bouts. Joining us today we have the two contenders for the open women’s featherweight championship, Brazilian legend Cris Cyborg versus the Invicta bantamweight champion, Tonya Evinger. Then we also have the two men squaring off for the welterweight title. Demian Maia, riding a seven-fight win streak versus the reigning champion Tyron Woodley. And lastly, we have one of the most anticipated rematches in UFC history, with arguably one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters ever returning to challenge for the belt he was forced to vacate in Jon Jones. He’ll be competing against the reigning, undisputed, light heavyweight champion of the world, Daniel Cormier. This card is loaded with incredible storylines and with that I’ll turn it over for questions.
Operator: Thank you. If you would like to ask a question, please press Star 1 on your phone. If you’re using a speakerphone, please make sure your mute button is turned off so that your signal can reach our equipment. So, once again press Star 1 to ask a question. And we’ll pause for a moment to give everyone an opportunity to ask a question and to assemble the queue. Once again, press Star 1 for questions. We’ll take a first question from Damon Martin with MMAWeekly.com. Please go ahead.
Damon Martin: Hey, guys, first question is for Jon Jones. Jon, obviously it’s been a while since you’ve been in the Octagon. You had to go through a lot to get back to here. How big is this fight in terms of your legacy and your career, because of everything you had to go through over these last couple of years?
Jon Jones: I think it’s a big fight, for my legacy. The last time something bad happened, it was two years ago. I think people fail to really realize that. Over the last two years I feel like I’ve really done the right things to get my life back in order. I’ve paid for the things I’ve done wrong, I’ve faced the time for the things I’ve done wrong. And then I have this estrogen blocker situation happen. I think it sent me backwards. I’ve been proud of myself for cleaning up my life. The perception is that my life is still a little out of control. If you knew me and if you lived in Albuquerque, and you saw all my relationships with people and the community and the way things are turning around for me, you would see things differently. The UFC 200 situation really set me backwards. I’ve forgiven myself for the things that have happened and I feel like I’ve done all the right things to get my life back together.
I feel like this win on Saturday, it’s going to allow the fans to forgive and forget a little bit about that hit-and run car accident and stuff to get excited about my future. I think that getting this belt back is going to set everything in the right direction for people to remember why I’m an and exciting fighter, for people to remember why I’m one of the biggest Pay-Per-View draws in the sport. I think people have forgotten about the things that make me special. I’m excited to get this win so that it will outweigh what happened two years ago and allow everyone else in the MMA community to start to move forward and to heal in the way me, my friends, family and my teammates have moved forward from it already.
Damon Martin: Because you have cleaned things up so much, Jon, and I know you’ve made some changes in your life. This is a big moment in your life personally. On the other side of the Octagon you got one of your biggest rivals, Daniel Cormier. He’s never lost in the sport outside of the one fight with you. How much of this is about you? Getting back what you lost, getting back the title and how much of it is about the rivalry, this dislike you have for Daniel Cormier?
Jon Jones: Honestly, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart. This fight, to me, has nothing to do with Daniel Cormier. It could be anybody. I mean, Anthony Jonson. He can be Anthony, or Gustafsson who got the belt in my absence. This fight, for me, is about legacy. It always has been. I’ve had big fights with guys like Rampage Jackson, who hated me, who tried to make me look like a fool. Rashad Evans, we fought for the pride of Jackson’s in the main and the pride of Albuquerque. Chael Sonnen in UFC 151 was a nightmare. He talked so much trash leading up throughout The Ultimate Fighter. And then DC, I’ve been in this position so many times with having an antagonist. It’s always been about chasing greatness. That’s what I’m here for. This DC chapter’s going to be over on Saturday and he’s going to be a part of my legacy. At the end of the day he will be remembered as one of Jon Jones great contenders.
Damon Martin: Since you’ve been gone, Jon, DC has been ruling the division. He has picked up some huge wins. Have you been impressed by DC in his last few fights since your fight with him?
Jon Jones: The Alexander Gustafsson fight was awesome. He showed a lot of heart. That was a great fight. As far as the Anthony Jonson fight, there’s a clear path to beat Anthony Jonson. You take him down to the ground and you take him out. The guy’s lost to so many people by rear naked chokes. I can’t say I’m too impressed by those victories. I don’t know, man. In my mind, I look at it one way. To go to sleep and consider yourself the baddest mother****** that has lived throughout this era, you’ve got to beat the baddest mother******. He says, “Well, I didn’t have to beat you, you beat yourself.” Every time he says that he validates what I’m saying. Yes, you just haven’t beat me, you know what I mean. So, am I impressed? You can beat as many people as you want, but until you beat the guy, you’re not the guy.
Damon Martin: And one question for Daniel Cormier. DC, you hear what Jon is saying. At the end of the day, he is arguably the greatest of all time. Do you feel like you’re going to get the same Jon Jones you fought before when you fought him in 2015? Or, do you feel like you’re going to get the Jon Jones you saw against Ovince Saint Preux? What do you expect out of Jon Jones in this fight?
Daniel Cormier: I expect him to be as good as he’s ever been. A lot of people talk about the Ovince Saint Preux fight as it was a horrible fight. As I’ve watched in my preparation, it wasn’t as bad as people try to make it out to be. He should be proud of the way he performed on that night because that was the best of his ability. He fought as well as he possibly could against Ovince Saint Preux. It wasn’t a bad fight. He did a good job. I expect him to be as good as he was against Ovince Saint Preux because that’s as good as he can be. That’s who he is. That’s his best version of himself.
Damon Martin: Thanks, DC, appreciate it.
Operator: Thank you, again, Star 1 for questions. We’ll take our next question from Dan Wetzel with Yahoo Sports. Please go ahead.
Dan Wetzel: I wanted to ask each of you – maybe we can start Daniel and go to Jon. To run through the emotions as you remember it now of the night in Vegas when the test came back and the UFC 200 fight was off. Both of you guys were very emotional that night. I wonder how do you recall that night, what you went through, and at that moment did you ever think that we would be back to this so quickly, just a year later?
Daniel Cormier: That moment was tough. It was very difficult because I had worked hard to try and get the only loss back that I have in my career. With that said, after the initial shock and sadness of the fight getting canceled, I went back to preparing myself. As a professional you have to get back on the horse. I was informed quickly after he was out of the fight that they were going to try to put something together. So, I had to go back to trying to cut weight again with the idea that I may get a fight. That’s exactly what I did.
Daniel Wetzel: Jon, I know you are very eager to get to this point. What was your thought a year ago?
Jon Jones: Well, what hurts me the most about UFC 200 was everything that people didn’t see that I had done to get back to that point. Things got ugly for me. The lawsuits, the probation, the court stuff. The hit that I took, my image and the situation that I put the girl in, it was terrible. It took me a long time and it took a lot of effort to get back to UFC 200. I was so proud to show my fans that you can come back from anything. UFC 200 was going to be the way that I officially said, look at that, guys, I did it. I didn’t give up. I came back bigger and stronger. Then the UFC 200 situation happened and I tainted my legacy because of an estrogen blocker. The beautiful thing about USADA is that they’re the number one drug testing agency in the world. They have brilliant people that work for that company. They proved that I was guilty of being negligent. I took a supplement that was supposed to be a sexual enhancement pill that ultimately had seven ingredients in it when it was only advertised to have five. This is all publicly documented. I had USADA themselves say that Jon Jones in fact, is not a drug cheat, a steroid cheat, but he had an estrogen blocker in him.
To have the world try to delegitimize ten years of being undefeated because of a sex pill, it really hurt. It’s beautiful because USADA is still here and I’m excited to have this fight coming up on Saturday and give my opponent absolutely no way out of saying this is why I lost, because right now the storyline is, well, Jon Jones beat me, Rampage Jackson, became the youngest champion ever and became a guy who made it to the UFC by only training for, I think, 7 months. To delegitimize all that by trying to accuse me of being a steroid user, it’s almost hysterical. I’m excited because this Saturday, USADA is still fully intact and I’m going to do exactly what I did last time, but I feel like it’s going to be in better fashion. There will be no excuse for me winning but my hard work, heart, faith and my belief. I’m excited to be in this position here. I get to put a lot of the critics to rest. They’re like oh, well he did it again. It wasn’t steroids this time. I’m looking forward to hearing what people say after Saturday.
Dan Wetzel: Thanks, guys.
Operator: Thank you, we go to A.J. Perez with USA Today Sports, go ahead, please.
A.J. Perez: Thanks for your time. This is for DC. A lot’s been made of the first meeting with Jon Jones. It was during UFC 121, I think, in Anaheim. What stands out most about that first meeting to you, DC?
Daniel Cormier: Even in the first interaction that I know many occasions he said that, it’s to strike up a new friendship. But for me it was something like, I’m better than you, or it was competitive immediately. For me that was the basis that was formed from the moment that we ever came into contact. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with it being competition from the start, because if this would have started as something different and in turn it is then me having to look within myself. But the fact that from the moment even if it was in gest it was something competitive and that was what formed the foundation for our relationship.
A.J. Perez: All right thanks I appreciate it.
Operator: Thinking once again if you’d like to ask a question please press Star 1 on our phone. We go next to Greg Moore with azcentral.com.
Greg Moore: Hey, I have questions for Jon. Jon I’m out here at Arizona Cardinals training camp. You got a message for your brother and then also could you tell me about your training going into the fight.
Jon Jones: Well as far as Chandler, I’m super, super proud of him to be in Arizona. He’s living an amazing life. To be young and to have signed an $83 million contract and be single, I think the guy bought a $4.2 million house. He is the modern-day Bruce Wayne and I’m so proud of him.
As far as the training, I was glad to have him down here. He only stayed for one week but I feel like he changed spiritually in that one week. Physically there’s not much you can do in one week but the things that he got to see, to watch his older brother train four times a day, and live to train between what I eat, my recovery and to get right back to the gym, I think it inspired him and I think it’s going to translate on the football field. I don’t think there’s anything the Cardinals could do to him on that field that will be tougher than what he witnessed me do here at high altitude in Albuquerque.
I had a great training camp though to answer your question. Right now, I weigh about 217. I’m fully hydrated. I’ve been eating meals all day. I feel amazing man. I feel like I’m at age 30 which should be my prime with no injuries and super confident. I beat this guy before. We’ve made some major adjustments and I’m excited to see what I’m capable of in my first rematch against a guy that I’ve already beat. The first time I fought Daniel was, like, well he’s undefeated. Maybe he has it, maybe he has the “it” factor. Some people have that “it” factor that Floyd Mayweather or Cael Sanderson or people who can go undefeated. Now that I found out he doesn’t have it, I’m excited to freaking be the G.O.A.T and not only beat this guy, but finish him this time. This is what my camp has expected out of me. It’s finishing people and to provide an output that I don’t believe he can handle. We’re really excited about this.
Greg Moore: Thanks Jon.
Daniel Cormier: Jon you know you ain’t finishing nobody. When was the last time you finished anybody? Now you’re going to come back after all this time away and finish me? You’ve lost your mind. You’re not finishing anything.
Operator: We’ll take our next question from Steven Marrocco with mmajunkie.com. Please go ahead.
Steven Marrocco: Well I wanted to follow up on that Daniel. I want to ask you how Jon is coming across to you in this call talking about doing the right things, forgiving himself, saying it could be anybody in the cage. How’s he coming off to you?
Daniel Cormier: I don’t know because I don’t really care. I don’t care if he’s made changes in his life. I couldn’t give two s**** if he goes to church every day, reading his bible and he’s doing everything perfectly right. I don’t care. I don’t care if he’s out every single night partying. I couldn’t give two s****. All I care about is him getting to the Octagon on Saturday. He talks about confidence. He talks about finishing. He talks about working hard and all these other things. These are things that champions do. These are the attributes of a champion in general. It’s not about what you do afterwards. These are things that you should always do and these are the things that I have always done and that I’m going to continue to do.
So yes, he’s confident but I’m over here confident too and I don’t have to tell you. I’m going to show you on Saturday night. The one thing that I do think, Steven, is that Jon hasn’t done this for a while because he’s a little bit long winded.
Steven Marrocco: Okay. Jon, what was going on with you during that Fox interview this past Saturday when you tore off the headset and you walked out of the shot? Was that the way it played out in the moment or was it something else?
Jon Jones: I felt like the interview was over.
Steven Marrocco: Okay it seemed, like you kind of stormed off. It didn’t seem like a natural exit so I wanted to clarify.
Jon Jones: I had my blue belt ceremony to get to too. I was late for that. I felt like the interview was over and I wanted to be on time and not miss the ceremony.
Steven Marrocco: I got you. You mentioned earlier that you’ve always had an antagonist. Is Daniel Cormier your greatest antagonist?
Jon Jones: I would say outside of the Octagon, yes, because of all the back and forth and all the verbal. But inside of the Octagon it would have to be Alexander Gustafsson. He came the closest to putting me in a spot where I felt, like, shit I’m digging deep right now. I could be losing this. With Daniel Cormier, with Rashad Evans, with anybody else that I beat by unanimous decision, I never felt like I was in danger or I had to dig deeper or pull out my reserve.
At one point in the first fight I smiled and looked up at the camera. I was like, this is great. It was fun. It was high pace. He pushed forward and moved forward but at no point did I get robbed or wowed or hurt or he made me bleed or anything. I had my whereabouts at the end of the fight. I never put my hands up and he thought the fight was over and he quit, like he normally does and then I slapped him two more times and gave him a DX suck it sign. It was a fun fight. This fight’s going to be even more fun. He’s two years older.
Steven Marrocco: Your response to that Daniel?
Daniel Cormier: You know at this point I’m not interested in arguing and fighting with this guy anymore. I’m not interested in the back and forth. I’m not interested in all that stuff. My goal is to get into the Octagon on Saturday. If all the things that he is saying right now are true, then great. If you feel as though he never had any danger in the first fight, then great. If he feels my age will be the determining factor in this fight, then great. These are all things that I can look forward to proving him wrong on Saturday. The guy has no idea what he’s in for but I’m going to sit back here, let him talk, do his job of selling the fight and I’ll go collect my check and defend my belt on Saturday.
Jon Jones: I’m glad that he has no intention of arguing because I’m not arguing with him at all. I’m answering you guys’ questions. I’m also glad that he’s in it for his check.
Daniel Cormier: In a very long-winded fashion in trying to say stuff that he knows isn’t true.
Jon Jones: I’m passionate man. I’m excited. I’m not a commentator. I don’t talk for a living so I talk with my heart.
Daniel Cormier: You don’t think I am? Do you think I’m not excited? Hey Jon, I can do it too.
Jon Jones: How about we not address each other and answer the questions.
Daniel Cormier: Hey I could do it too. Jon I’m excited about this man. I can do the same s***.
Jon Jones: Cool. How about we don’t address each other and just answer these peoples’ questions? Can we do that? Can we be professional?
Daniel Cormier: Yes, we can be very professional.
Steven Marrocco: If I could, one last question for Jon. I had to read a quote that I read in this great story in Bleacher Report. This profile that you did said, “I went back to the car to try and find my marijuana pipe. It was in the cup holder but it flew out and now I keep it in the middle console.” Is that you trolling or was that real?
Jon Jones: That’s me trolling. Next question.
Steven Marrocco: Okay fair enough, thanks guys.
Operator: We go next to Dave Deibert with Postmedia Network. Go ahead please.
Dave Deibert: Hi guys, thanks for the time. A bit of a follow up with the talk about rematches. How much time have each of you Jon and Daniel spent watching the tape from your first fight? Daniel maybe first.
Daniel Cormier: Oh I’ve watched the fight. Again, I feel like we’re different fighters today than we were then. I’m not going to gage my performance this weekend on what happened in January of 2015. So, I’ve watched the fight obviously. We’ve competed against each other before but as a guy that lost, I’m not going to gage what I’m going to do on Saturday night based on what happened two and a half years ago.
Dave Deibert: Okay, Jon.
Jon Jones: I watched the first fight a lot, I do. My team here at Jackson’s MMA we are notorious for studying film. So, the beautiful thing about this rematch is I’ve been able to somehow never lose because of what I find in footage. And now I have a blueprint of myself against someone that I’ve beat before. This blueprint is gigantic because it’s my first rematch. I’m super excited about my first rematch. I’m a huge fan of the sport. The reason why I didn’t fight Chael Sonnen at UFC 151, I don’t like fighting without studying first. To have a blueprint of how to beat Daniel Cormier of myself beating him is gigantic.
We study that fight all the time. We know what he wants. We know a lot of things he likes to do. The thing that’s most beautiful about being out of the equation for so long is that I’ve been able to watch him continue to fight over the last two years. Me and my team, we’ve seen very, very small changes. Almost safe to say no changes. In my situation against OSP because I was a little gun shy, I showed almost nothing. I literally did sidekicks to the legs the whole time. I threw maybe three punches the whole fight, took him down against the cage. Yes, I’ve been doing that my whole career and it’s something I’m great at.
I’ve shown Daniel nothing. He has no clue of the progression. He has no clue what I’ve changed in my boxing. He doesn’t know what I’ve changed in my clenching. He doesn’t know what I’ve changed in my jiu-jitsu. He has nothing. I’ve watched him on the ground against Anderson Silva. We know what his top game looks like. I watched him take Anthony Johnson’s back. We know what his back control looks like. We know what he’s capable of. We have a huge blueprint on him where he really has no clue what I’ve done differently over the last two years.
Dave Deibert: All right thanks you guys.
Operator: Once again press Star 1 if you’d like to ask a question. We go next to Marc Raimondi with mmafighting.com. Please go ahead.
Marc Raimondi: Hey guys thanks for taking the time today. First question is for Cyborg. Cyborg are you there?
Operator: She’s on the line.
Marc Raimondi: Hey Cris. I have a question about your weight cut. Where are you right now and I know that the commission has been monitoring you guys more than others have leading up to this fight. Are you happy with where you are now? Are things going okay with your weight cut?
Cris Cyborg: It happened my last fight and I keep training. I’m doing great and it will be an amazing fight. I feel great today with getting closer to the weight and to have four days left.
Marc Raimondi: Thanks Cris. Next question is for Jon. I think you tweeted a few days ago that you got a call from Anderson Silva. I’m curious what Anderson said and what it meant to you.
Jon Jones: We talked on the phone for a while and I don’t want to get too much into what we spoke about just out of my respect for him. When it comes to the fight he told me to know what I’m capable of. He said in a roundabout way, “Know what you’re capable of” and he said, “It was almost surprising to feel the level of fear I felt from Daniel.” He said to me, “I’m an old man now and Daniel had to take me down round after round because I felt fear coming off of him.” This man has fear in his heart. He said, “Know what you’re capable of, go out there and you take this from him.” In a roundabout way that’s what he said.
Marc Raimondi: Getting a call from him, did that mean a lot to you?
Jon Jones: Absolutely. Anderson Silva’s my idol and he’s been the guy that I’ve respected the most since I was 19 years old and I got into this sport. To hear him have that level of faith in me and it’s pretty much telling me that it’s already done. Now I’ve got to go out there and do what I’m capable of. It felt great coming from him.
Marc Raimondi: Thanks Jon.
Jon Jones: One thing about me and Anderson is that my takedown defense is solid dude, there’s no taking me down if things don’t go your way. There’s no laying on me and half control and half guard the whole time the way that happened.
Marc Raimondi: Thanks Jon. DC, could you respond to I guess what Jon is saying Anderson said in that phone call?
Daniel Cormier: Okay, yes, it’s good that they’re friends. It’s good that they’re friends, it’s good that Anderson called him with advice but that would almost be like me having Glover Teixeira call me to tell me how to beat Jon Jones. He lost, it’s much easier to give advice to someone about someone you lost to. You don’t want to see me win, I beat him. He doesn’t want to see me win. So, go get Jon to do the job that he couldn’t do. It doesn’t bother me. I couldn’t care less if everybody calls him and tells him how he should beat me or what they felt when they were in the Octagon with me. If a guy is going to fall in the middle of the Octagon and let me get on top of him, I will gladly take that.
Marc Raimondi: Fair enough, and the last thing for me. The promos for the fight have gotten a lot of critical acclaim. I’m curious about how you guys feel about them. Starting with Jon, were you okay with how the promos came out and how they portrayed you and that whole thing?
Jon Jones: The first time I watched it, I was uncomfortable with it because it showed me talking in 2011 and saying how I would never want to do something to harm the image of the sport. And that was genuine man. I never intended on having an image of being the bad guy. I didn’t and somewhere along the way I got lost and I got caught up in my own s*** man. I started having fun and partying and still winning and I took it all for granted. Genuinely, wanted to be an inspiration to other people and be a role model. That was my original thought and somewhere along the line I stopped caring and I started living for myself. The promo was honest. The proof is in the timeline. It was all right there and I curated that.
The beautiful thing about the promo I felt was my life and my mistakes, I was so out there. I don’t need DC to try to convince everyone that I’m this terrible human being. People can judge me for how they want to see me. It’s already out there. It’s all out there in the public and that’s a freeing feeling to be looked at as a piece of s*** by so many people and to be able to be real with yourself and to take responsibility for the things that you’ve done wrong. I feel so free. It’s a great feeling to be who I am. It’s great to be me, alive, whether you like me or hate me. It’s a great feeling to be relevant.
I’m excited because at the end of the day when you get to a certain low, the only place you can go is up and I’m excited to be 30 years old and to have a good team of people around me right now and to go up. I think my story is going to inspire somebody else who has f***** up. It’s going to inspire somebody else to realize that it is not over. If Jon Jones can come back from the s*** that he’s been through, and ultimately win and be the champion that he’s always been capable of being. I think it’s going to inspire other people and I’m glad that my life can be used as a laughing stock or whatever it may be to ultimately inspire. If it’s only one person that continues to fight because of my life, I’m glad to be in this position. So, yes, to answer your question, the promo was honest. I’m excited to finish the story, the story is not over. We’re not our past, we’re not our mistakes. We’re what we do with it and like I said, my hit-and-run was two years ago and I’ve done a lot of right things since then and I’m going to continue until people can start to see that I’m here to stay and I’m here to win and be a dominant champion and try to do things better in the future.
Marc Raimondi: Thanks Jon and for Daniel, kind of the same question. What did you think of the promo and do you think it was too focused on Jon, how did you feel about it overall?
Daniel Cormier: No, I thought they did a fantastic job. You watch some of these other fights and they don’t get that type of detail in the promotion. I thought it was a story as it needed to be told. I think the greatest hook for people is the story of redemption and if we want people watching the story of redemption then that was the story that needed to be told. The beauty in the situation is that I get to be the person that doesn’t allow for the ultimate redemption. There is redemption in this story. There are things that he has said that are very true. When you have to scrape yourself off the ground and when you’re at your lowest point, you look up to a future that can actually mean something.
But the redemption is the fact that he gets to go back and compete. The redemption isn’t the championship anymore. That’s the reality. The reality is that he gets another opportunity to be a good citizen, to be a good competitor and a good human being in general. You take from that, you learn from that, learn from all those mistakes and do that. The story of redemption is not getting his hand raised in the Octagon this weekend. Maybe later, but it’s not right now.
Jon Jones: I mean, listen to who that is coming from. Of course, that wouldn’t be the story of redemption in your mind.
Daniel Cormier: Again, can we please just answer these people’s questions? I’m very quiet when he’s talking but to answer his question now, redemption is getting to do the things that he’s getting to do this weekend. Everybody doesn’t need the ultimate redemption. He will get redemption by getting to compete again.
Jon Jones: Oh now it’s the ultimate and then there’s regular redemption. Okay, I get it.
Daniel Cormier: I said the fact that you’ve picked yourself up, if it was that low, and guiding yourself back to this point, great on you. But that’s only redemption.
Marc Raimondi: Thanks so much guys.
Operator: Once again press Star 1 if you’d like to ask a question. We’ll go next to Kendrick Johnson with RingTV.com. Please go ahead.
Kendrick Johnson: Jon, kind of taking back on what you were talking about about your mistakes and stuff being public, how much truth is there that you woke up at 2:00 p.m. when you all fought last, after a night of partying and being hungover to pull off the performance that you did and dominate?
Jon Jones: That’s an epic story but that’s not true. That’s not true at all. No. Waking up at 2:00 p.m. and fighting, no, there’s no truth behind that whatsoever.
Kendrick Johnson: And why didn’t you take a tune-up fight for this, because of the confidence of already getting a win or something that’s on there that we don’t know that makes it easier for you after all this time off, having only one fight in two years to fight a guy with the caliber of DC?
Jon Jones: Because DC is unquestionably a great fighter, but I feel like this is my era. You can’t do something special without a great competitor to go against and I feel like this is my time and call me crazy but I feel like I’m gifted and I feel like I was put on this earth to do this. I feel like this is what I was born to do and when you believe in your victory like that, it allows you to not even trip about DC or any of these other guys who people think is great. I believe that I’m the one. I believe it with my whole heart. I tell my kids that and they look at me like I’m the one.
I’ve obsessed myself and I’ve convinced myself that I’m something special and when you believe that in your heart, you’re dangerous bro; especially when you have the work ethic and the athleticism to back it up and so I don’t feel like I need a warm-up fight. Either you’ve got it or you don’t and throughout DC’s career it’s been proven time after time again that he is not the one. If he was the one, he would have beat Cael Sanderson. If he was the one, he would have won the Olympics. If he was the one, he would have beat me the first time. I believe that I’m the one and I’m going to prove it another time, this Saturday.
Kendrick Johnson: My next question is for DC. How much does it bother you that, to kind of go in WWE terms, he knows he can beat you? As of right now the narrative is you think you can beat him. How much of that is a motivating factor or does that bother you?
Daniel Cormier: It doesn’t bother me because I don’t question myself regarding this competition. I don’t feel like I can’t beat Jon Jones. I don’t question whether I’m going to get my hand raised. If that’s the idea that you guys take into the fight on Saturday then that’s great, that’s okay. But me and the people around me, we have no doubt that we’re going to get the job done. So, I don’t think in those terms. I don’t know anyone who competes at the highest-level that thinks in those terms. It doesn’t make any sense.
Kendrick Johnson: Got you. Are you worried about the people that said Jon is out of the ground game and things like that about the Jackson team wants to finish you and put it on their resume? Does that bother you is it all talk to you?
Daniel Cormier: It’s all noise man. All of it is noise. All the other stuff from before, the anger and the animosity and all the bad blood and all that other stuff that the fight was built on the first time, I really don’t care about it anymore. To me it’s about getting in there and competing, going in there and doing what I feel I’m able to do and that’s getting the job done. I’m not worried about the jiu-jitsu and all of this. I’ve done jiu-jitsu my entire career. I’ve done it the whole time, I’m confident in my jiu-jitsu and I’m confident in my grappling. I didn’t have to do it late. It’s not a big story. It doesn’t bother me. Nothing bothers me.
Jon Jones: I’ll say for him to say it’s all noise because I’m not addressing you DC. For him to say it’s all noise, it would be all noise if we didn’t prove the first time that we can beat you. If we had never fought before it would be all noise but everything that comes out of my mouth is what I feel to be true. So, it’s not all noise, the proof is in the pudding.
Kendrick Johnson: And my final question is for Cris. Cris how would it feel to finally hear your name as a UFC champion and Dana putting that belt around your waist if you’re successful on Saturday like you expect?
Cris Cyborg: For me, I’m thinking I need to be the champion. I’m undefeated for almost 12 years. I feel like winning the title is going to be great for my career. I’m glad to be part of the show and I feel very good and I’m going to show all my fans and my new fans why I came here this season.
Kendrick Johnson: Thanks, good luck to everybody on Saturday.
Operator: Thank you, we go next to Jon Fuentes with GiveMeSport. Please go ahead.
Jon Fuentes: Hi guys, this question is for both Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, we’ll go first Cormier and then Jones. How do you guys feel your rivalry with one another has evolved or hasn’t evolved over the years given all the obstacles that’s gotten in your way as finally getting this rematch?
Daniel Cormier: Well, I feel like competitively it’s the highest level that you can see. I think it’s gotten a bit old because we’ve had to do this on so many occasions, but as I said time and time again, this rivalry is a rivalry when I win the fight this weekend. If I don’t win the fight, there’s no rivalry. It’s two guys that were fighting on more than one occasion. It’s a rivalry when I win this weekend but it’s gotten a little bit old because we’ve done it so many times but outside of that, to me I feel it’s the highest level of mixed martial arts that people can experience.
Jon Fuentes: Mr. Jones?
Jon Jones: I think Dan is right. It’s not really a rivalry. Like I said, the whole beginning of this thing I tried to be nice to him as a young black kid seeing that he’s his coach and he was a wrestler who had far greater credentials than me and I thought I was going to meet this guy and I thought we were going to be cool. I thought we’d have a new inside joke every time I saw him. And his pride and his ego that he had about me before I didn’t know who he was. He knew who I was when we met. Anyway, I never had a problem with him. I don’t have problems with people that I’ve beaten already. I don’t have a problem with Glover or Andre Gusmao or any of those guys. He has a problem with me and I hate him because he hates me.
This whole thing that we’re going through it has become an attack of my character. That’s all this is, is an attack on my character. When people ask Daniel what he thinks about me inside of the Octagon, he has s*** to say about me. I’m here to fight. I’m not here to protect whether you think I’m a good person or not. I’ve given up on that. I don’t give a crap what people think about me at this stage in my career. I’m happy with the father I am and the person that I am, the friend that I am, the teammate that I am, everybody else doesn’t matter. They’re feelings don’t even matter.
To answer your question how I evolved or not evolved this is the first time I’ve been against someone who’s literally fighting to prove that I’m a bad guy. F*** it. Call me the bad guy. I’m not fighting to be the good guy. Listen to his interviews. It’s always the same s***.
Now he’s trying to convince the world that I did steroids. That gets to me a little bit because I think deep down this mother****** knows that I wouldn’t do steroids. Come on now. Being the youngest champion, you mean to tell me I’m smart enough to outsmart f****** USADA and the f****** Nevada Athletic Commission for ten years? But I failed a cocaine test? I’m a mastermind steroid user that beat all these guys for ten years? He knows in his heart that I didn’t do steroids.
Anyway, I feel like I answered your question. This whole thing has become attack on Jon Jones’ character. I feel that when Daniel loses he’ll be able to say well I’m a f****** good guy. I’m a good guy and at least people will respect me for being a good champion when I had that belt in Jon’s absence. I think that he deserves respect because he is a good guy. You don’t have to shit on other people to try to make yourself seem that much better, Daniel. We see that you’re a good person. We see that you’re a great husband, father, a wrestling coach, team captain, and I admire a lot of things about you. You’re a f****** great dude. You don’t need to f****** try to convince the world that I did steroids bro. Look at yourself in the mirror and say goddammit he’s younger than me, he’s athletic and he beat my ass and he’s going to do it again. Don’t f****** try to crush somebody else’s image to make yourself seem mightier. You’re already a f****** good dude.
Jon Fuentes: A follow up for Cormier if I could. This fight has been rescheduled several times before. Is there any doubt in your mind that this fight will take place this weekend?
Daniel Cormier: I have no doubt. I’m sure he’s done everything right to make sure that we get to the Octagon on Saturday. So, I’m happy about that.
Jon Fuentes: Thank you gentlemen. Best of luck to both of you this weekend.
Operator: We move next to Damon Martin from mmaweekly.com. Please go ahead.
Damon Martin: Yes. A question for Tyron Woodley. Tyron, you have said numerous times you’ve been willing to step up for the big fights that are out there, the Georges St-Pierres, the Michael Bispings and things like that but ultimately, you’ve faced the guys that the UFC has put in front of you. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson on two occasions, now Demian Maia and maybe they’re not the most marketable opponents so to speak. Do you feel like that says a lot about your character, that you are willing to always face the toughest guy no matter how much it may not end up as the biggest paycheck in your bank account?
Tyron Woodley: I think that when I was finding my way to the top and trying to become a champion that I wanted the best guys. I wanted the Josh Koscheck fight, the Carlos Condit fight, even in defeat against Rory MacDonald that fight made sense for me because it put me in position to fight for a title.
Unfortunately, my division has two of the last Mohicans when it comes down to specialists. Wonderboy is a specialist at what he does and people that don’t respect that and dart in and get frustrated and try to go after him, those are the guys that get knocked out and slip on the canvas. Demian Maia is going to be the same guy.
Would I like a rivalry like these two gentlemen have that really make so many people excited about the fight? Of course. That puts you in the position where you’re remembered. I think every great champion needs to have rivalry, rematch or trilogy and a rematch gets fans talking because they can resonate with it.
But because there’s not a huge draw, it’s because of our sport. It’s not that Demian Maia isn’t a worthy opponent. He’s on the a seven-fight winning streak. He’s a world class guy. People respect striking and not only striking, aggressive striking, knockout, blood, that’s what our fans love to watch. So, if there’s not going to be an opponent that is going to get everybody talking, and maybe sometimes I’m not that opponent. Who knows.
But I’m fighting on a phenomenal card. This is a crazy point in history. Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones have one of the most authentic rivalries that we’ve ever seen in our sport outside of Chuck Liddel and Tito Ortiz and both great opponents. To be honest, I’m trying to get the party started. I’m trying to be the hype man. I’m going out there and trying to do fast work on my opponent so I can get through my interviews and watch the fight.
Damon Martin: And Tyron, you’ve told me in the past that ultimately, your goal is to be the greatest welterweight of all time. Considering you now have the win and maybe a win and a half, however you want to look at it with Wonderboy considering a lot of people felt you won the first fight as well and then if you go out there and beat Demian Maia who is on a seven-fight win streak and dominating through pretty much every performance he’s had, in your own head how close do you feel like you are to reaching that goal of becoming the greatest welterweight of all time?
Tyron Woodley: That’s one step but it’s not a huge step to be honest because, obviously there’s a guy name Georges St-Pierres that’s out there talking about still fighting these other welterweights like Nick Diaz who is in my opinion a lineal top ten, top five welterweight. There’s other fights and things that could make me the greatest welterweight. It’s also the way I go out there and fight guys or I can put up a little bit more and they got to have it. I possess all the tools, skills, explosiveness and conditioning. Sometimes it’s the way that I fight against opponents that can put me in that position. I think this will be a step forward. It won’t be a huge long jump but it’ll be a step forward and I’m in it for the long haul. I’m not trying to do two or three fights and get out of this. I’m trying to grow as a champion and become a superstar.
Damon Martin: Awesome. Next question for Demian Maia. Demian, you’ve been on this incredible win streak and you’ve been waiting for this moment a couple of separate occasions. If not for the draw in the first fight with Wonderboy, you probably would’ve gotten that title fight before now. Has it been frustrating and have you used that frustration to get yourself ready for this fight with Tyron Woodley to finally get your shot at the title?
Demian Maia: Yes, of course it was very frustrating but at the same time it gives me strength and I could prove to myself that I have the mindset and the strength to wait and to be ready for this fight.
Damon Martin: And Demian, you’ve made no secret that your ability to take guys to the ground and submit them and apply your grappling game, you’ve really gone to that heavily in your last six or seven fights where you’ve been on this win streak. Do you make any secret that that’s the plan once again with Tyron Woodley? Do you want to go out there, get him to the ground and try to submit him?
Demian Maia: Yes there’s no secret about that but I always have little secrets in my game and details that I work on every camp that people don’t see. Of course, it’s not easy to see if I’m not going to show these now, but when I finish my career. Every fight I come with some secrets and different details from my attacks. That’s why people are always expecting the same and they get caught anyways.
Damon Martin: Yes. Now a question for Tonya Evinger. Tonya, going into this fight, you’re the underdog. Cris “Cyborg” is everything that we say about her. She’s undefeated for almost 11 years, she’s knocked out everybody who’s stepped in the Octagon with her. Do you relish that role at all? Do you like being the underdog and coming into this fight where there’s so much attention on her and you can shock the world?
Tonya Evinger: Yes, I think I’m the underdog every time so it’s one of the roles I play. I seem to get the fans that don’t think I’m as good a fighter as I am. To make a correction, I am also Invicta world champion. They didn’t announce that at the game. I think that we’re both two dominating champions. I think this is a super fight and it’s a fight that could’ve happened a long time ago and it’s one to watch.
Damon Martin: And my final question Tonya, without giving away any kind of strategy or game planning but because Cris has been so dominant no one has really been able to expose any weaknesses in her game. I can’t remember the last time she lost a round in a fight, maybe not since her debut when she lost the fight. When you look at her, when you break down footage, do you see weaknesses? Do you believe you’ve found weaknesses in Cris Cyborg’s game?
Tonya Evinger: I don’t go in any fight thinking that my opponent has any weakness. I go in there to put myself out there and be awesome to myself and I did an interview and they asked me that: you’ve never had anybody come at you like she is going to come at you. I think that she’s kind of had that same role in all her fights too. She’s been the most dominating one in her fights, so I think that we’re both coming in this, two strong opponents with similar styles, yet complete opposite styles.
It’s one of those things. I don’t really game plan for a fight. I look where I’m strong and I look where I think that I can win certain rounds or certain positions and I go by it that way. The fight, you never know what they’re training on or what they’re changing. So, I go in with an open mind and I’m able to adjust where I need to.
Damon Martin: Awesome. Thanks Tonya.
Tonya Evinger: No problem.
Operator: And this will conclude today’s question and answer session. Now, I’ll turn the conference back over to your host, Matt Radmanovich for our closing or additional comments.
Matt Radmanovich: Thank you everyone for taking the time to join the call today. I appreciate all six athletes that took time out of their busy schedule and their preparations to come on. A quick reminder: UFC 214 takes place Saturday, July 29th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California and will feature those three title bouts to headline the card. We’ll see everybody Saturday. Thank you very much. Bye.
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen this does conclude today’s conference. Thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect.