Jon Jones made all sorts of news Monday.
Not long before he started a confrontation with challenger Daniel Cormier at a UFC 178 media day, via MMA Fighting Newswire, the UFC light heavyweight champion appeared on The MMA Hour with host Ariel Helwani to discuss his rivalries with both Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson, his original challenger before Gustafsson sustained a training injury.
“If anybody’s the Frazier to my Ali, I would say it was Alexander Gustafsson because of the war he put me through," Jones said during the interview with Helwani. "And I’m excited to do better the second time...I feel I have unfinished business with Alexander.”
Jones also promised Gustafsson "a severe beating" in their rematch, saying he had "something to prove to the MMA community."
Fans won't soon forget Jones (20-1) and Gustafsson (16-2) going the distance in the main event of UFC 165. It was undoubtedly the toughest fight of Jones' career, even though the champ emerged with a narrow decision victory. The bout was widely hailed as the best MMA fight of 2013.
Jones and Gustafsson were set to rematch the fight at UFC 178 until Gustafsson was forced to withdraw.
Enter Cormier, an Olympic wrestler with whom Jones has exchanged some testy words. Monday's interview on The MMA Hour was no exception, with the champ taking shots at Cormier's physical fitness.
"As far as being fit, we all see what he looks like," Jones said. "I don’t think he’s in the greatest of shape. I think he has a lot on his plate. Not only does he have to lose weight, get in shape, but he’s going to have to focus on his tactics to be able to beat me. I just think it’s a tall order.”
Subsequently, Jones and Cormier engaged in a shoving match during a media day activity that erupted into a full-on melee.
Mindenhall (@ChuckMindenhall) August 4, 2014