In a recent interview with The MMA Hour, Malki Kawa spoke with Ariel Helwani about Jon Jones desire to fight Daniel Cormier for the title. Apparently, Jones wants to fight Daniel Cormier and have a chance at the title this coming April 23rd and the event mentioned will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York. Current MMA champion Daniel Cormier, however, responded during The MMA Hour and said that he will think about the date and venue proposed, but it will still be his decision as to when and where the bout will take place- that is if it will even happen at all.
“I’ve given [the UFC] a couple dates I’d be willing to look at. Maybe you guys will know something soon. I’m going to make my decision as the champion sooner rather than later. Just put it like that.” the champion said.
Cormier has previously expressed his desire to fight anywhere but in New York, which apparently is Jones’ home base, mainly because he thinks that it is the only location where fans and spectators will be sympathetic with Jones even though he had a hit-and-run case and felony arrest just recently.
Jones, on the other hand, told Helwani that this reasoning is simply a “cowardly” thing to do. What he sees is that the champion is not ready to fight him.
As expected, Cormier didn’t let this statement slide. He shot back, saying that Jones did the exact same thing when the promotion offered the possibility of holding the rematch between Jones and Gustafsson in Sweden, which is Gustafsson’s home country.
“Jon was completely against it, because Jon said, ‘I’m the champion. I should decide where I want to fight’. If I’m not mistaken, it was something to that effect. It’s the same situation. I don’t understand how he can judge me differently than how he wants to judge himself. Again, it’s just Jon being Jon,” Cormier said.
The champion was quick to note though, that fighting in New York isn’t exactly new to him since he already did some wrestling fights there. What interests him though, is the fact that if this fight with Jones would take place in Madison Square, the fight would definitely be a big event because it will the first-ever major MMA event in the state. Pro MMA is actually illegal in New York, so taking the fight there would still have a long way to go. But for now, the target date for UFC 198 is this coming April 23rd.
“If I had to be completely honest, in terms of how historic it would be and how big it would be, obviously that would be a big deal. Now, for it to be Madison Square Garden, I think honestly Helwani, if it is the Garden, April 23 maybe becomes more intriguing. Obviously, like I said, for historic purposes it would be cool to fight in Madison Square Garden. But we don’t want to really give this guy what he wants. Yeah, yeah. I guess I’ll think about April 23,” Cormier added.