Daniel Cormier spoke with Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole and discussed Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson.
Cormier believes Jones won the first fight, taking rounds 2, 4, and 5. Further, Cormier thinks Jones will win the rematch. However, he does not think it is a fight that Jones wants to do again.
The UFC wanted an immediate rematch after Jones edged Gustafsson at UFC 165 on Sept. 23, 2013. Jones instead opted to fight Glover Teixeira. Now the UFC is pushing harder still for the rematch, and Jones instead wants to fight Cormier.
First, the UFC announced that Gustafsson had signed a bout agreement to fight Jones at UFC 177 in Las Vegas on Aug 30. Then on Monday UFC president Dana White mused that he might have Cormier fight Gustafsson instead, something Cormier said should happen for an interim belt.
So far, Jones isn't budging, and Cormier thinks he knows why.
"He had to reach so deep into his soul to win that last fight. I truly believe he doesn't want to fight Alex again," said Cormier. "Alex took him somewhere he'd never been before and he doesn't want to go there ever again."
"Everybody was screaming for the rematch after that fight with Alex and he said no, that he wanted to fight Glover. Now, if he comes back and says essentially, 'I don't want this rematch,' how do you think that's going to come across? Once? OK. He said he wanted to fight Glover and everyone knows about Glover. But twice would be hard to understand. I honestly don't think Jon is afraid, but Alex pushed him to a point in that fight where I don't think he ever wants to go again.
"So obviously, this might benefit me in the long run. And if Jon really believes that I would be the tougher fight, then he would be doing it for the right reason. But if he is saying he wants to fight me because he believes I'd be an easier guy? Man, I don't know. That's not good."
"As the champion, it's his obligation to fight the guy they say is the top challenger, and right now, that is Alexander Gustafsson. It's been strange. At the end of the day, he'll probably end up fighting Gustafsson again, but this isn't something he's volunteering for, I can tell you that."
White and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta meet on Thursday with Jones and his management to try to come to terms. Who do you think Jones ends up fighting? And who do you think the tougher opponent for Jones, Gus or Cormier?