A fake, a liar and dishonest were the descriptions thrown around by UFC light heavyweight challenger Daniel Cormier to paint Jon Jones after they figured in a scuffle Tuesday during the photo shoot for their upcoming fight on September 27.
Yahoo! Sports reports that the unexpected brawl was triggered when the athletes came face to face for the shoot. Cormier apparently took offense by a slight nudge to the head by Jones when they were facing each other. The pair rumbled in a preview of their much anticipated championship fight, tumbled from the stage and wrecked the backdrop.
While the two appeared reconciliatory after appearing before ESPN shortly after the melee, Cormier was not convinced of the masked sainthood and mild words of his rival. Jones began by saying his apologies to the fans and to MGM Grand but Cormier butted in to declare that he was not buying any of it. With Cormier being interviewed from another location, he began bawlng "It's so fake! It's so fake!"
While no one was seriously injured in the brief struggle, the Nevada Athletic Commission is already looking into sanction to the two light heavyweights.
If any sanction is imposed, the public will wonder if the words of apology of Jon Jones will play into the weight of the punishment. During the same interview, Jones explained how they came to blows which were natural given the circumstances.
"But, what happened was, we had a faceoff, and in the UFC, two athletes get very close in the faceoff, our heads touched, our nose rubbed together, it's a very intimate, very passionate moment for a lot of fighters [this characterization brought out another laugh from Cormier]. I've never actually had another fight put his hands on me by squeezing my throat. I reacted in self-defense by beating up Daniel," Jones explained.
While the reigning champion muttered the words, "not proud of what I did today," Cormier took offense on the manner of the delivery of the explanation, citing that Jones was insincere in his apology. The former Olympic champion stated that he will not back down from the disrespect he received from Jones yesterday. He reiterated that he will not allow any other man nudge him forward with their head and not react, be it a Mike Tyson in his prime or a Vladimir Klitschko.
The statements of the two fighters where in opposite ends of the pole with the undefeated Cormier doing a plain and direct explanation of what transpired with Jones using words such as intimate and passionate to describe their close encounter.
In the end, Jones only added fuel to Cormier's fire who was adamant that Jones was nothing but a fake individual. No matter what opinions were formed from last night's mini MMA, the outcome of the September 27 is for sure one real brawl.