Just minutes after getting into a brawl at UFC 178 media day, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and 205-pound top contender Daniel Cormier appeared on ESPN's SportsCenter to discuss their impromptu skirmish as well as their upcoming sanctioned bout.
The two appeared from separate rooms and exchanged barbs in a lightly moderated discussion. Jones started things off by apologizing for the skirmish, saying he was sorry to the fans and MGM Grand Garden Arena officials in particular. Cormier interjected by yelling, "So fake!"
When asked about the brawl, each fighter blamed the other. Jones said he reacted "in self-defense" to Cormier's shove by "beating up Daniel." Cormier said, "I will never allow a man to nudge me forward with his head" and called Jones a "bully." Cormier also repeatedly referred to Jones as "son." As things wore on, Cormier attacked Jones' character, saying, "He's a punk, he's a liar, he's dishonest."
Throughout the interview, Jones was soft-spoken and apologetic, while Cormier was unrepentant for his actions. While Jones tried to come off as a victim, however, he repeatedly barbed Cormier after the melee on Twitter, something ESPN's Todd Grisham called him on.
Lol those baby punches from the bottom, I really hope you have more prepared than that for when I take you down again— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) August 4, 2014
Put some ice on that face DC, you got lots of interviews tomorrow— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) August 4, 2014
For those who missed it, Jones and Cormier came to blows earlier in the day at a UFC 178 press conference. While doing the usual promotional staredown, Jones got in Cormier's face, prompting a hard push back, which was then met with a big punch from Jones. All this happened right in front of the media, which captured dozens of photos and videos.
It is unknown what, if any, punishment will be handed down from the UFC or Nevada State Athletic Commission. Either way, even though the Jones vs. Cormier bout was already receiving all sorts of hype even before Monday's events, it has suddenly become the hottest topic in combat sports.
Jones and Cormier are set to face off at UFC 178 on September 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Stick with Bleacher Report for more details on the card as they become available.