After Alexander Gustafsson pulled out of his light heavyweight title rematch with Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier stepped in to fight Jones at UFC 178. The pair met at the UFC’s Ultimate Media day and brawled during their now infamous staredown.
Shortly after the brawl, Jones tore his meniscus and was forced out of the bout, postponing the highly anticipated matchup until 2015. Alexander Gustafsson spoke up, saying he would be ready to fight in 2015, and if Jones couldn’t fight until then, he should be the one to fight him, because he was the rightful contender in the first place.
The UFC disagreed with ‘The Mauler’ and Jones vs. Cormier was rescheduled for UFC 183 on January 3rd.
Daniel Cormier spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour to discuss the matchup, and why he was chosen to fight Jones.
“It’s circumstance, man. A lot of things come down to circumstance. This job [with UFC Tonight], circumstance. The fight with Jon, it’s circumstance. You know, like me winning the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, circumstances. Sometimes things come down to the person that’s willing to step up when an opportunity is presented. I did.”
When it comes to the matchup, a bout that went under the radar for some, quickly became the ‘must see’ fight of the year after the brawl between Jones and Cormier, which further pushed Alexander Gustafsson out of the picture.
“Did we know, [either] Jon and I, that it would be so electric? No. It’s taken on a life of its own and now it’s like he (Gustafsson) can’t get back in his place. “
“But no, I mean, I’m not going to feel bad for him now, and I’m not going to feel bad for him when he’s waiting at the end of 2015 to fight for the title, because I’m going to win and then Jones is going to get a rematch. So, it’s like, Alexander Gustafsson, he was the victim of circumstance. But no, I don’t feel bad for him at all.”