UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has been extremely willing to engage in trash talk recently leading up to his summer rematch with former light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones for the undisputed light heavyweight title.
Leading up to the fight, Cormier appears to be extremely comfortable not only in the spotlight, but also with the microphone, as was evident at the UFC Summer Kickoff press conference, where he and Jones appeared onstage together. Daniel Cormier repeatedly slammed Jones, also going as far as to call the former champ a “junkie”. That struck a nerve with many people, who felt as though the champ may have crossed the line.
He responded in an interview on SiriusXM:
“These things are so public. These instances are so public. If he was doing all this stuff to himself and by himself and not affecting people, I probably wouldn’t say anything. But his indiscretions and mess-ups have greatly influenced my career, too, in the way I’m perceived. A lot of people may say, ‘Well, you would never be the champion if he didn’t do those things.’ Maybe he would’ve beat me again, but we would’ve fought already to decide that.”
“But even though I am champion, because of the things that he’s done to get in that situation, people never really, truly respect me as they should. Not only are they not respecting me as they should, they’re discrediting everything I have done. So, it’s not off limits. And my whole thing is this.”
“Some guy said this to me: ‘Daniel, if you knew the struggle, you would never say the things you say.’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t know the struggle, because I know how dangerous it is. So I don’t mess with it.’ You’re not born with addiction issues. You make the choice to start to mess with that.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/16/2017.