Two and a half years ago, Jones beat Cormier at UFC 182, and the two fighters were slated for a much-anticipated rematch at UFC 200 last year. But four days before that match Jones failed a doping test and was issued a year-long suspension.
And prior to that incident, Jones was also suspended by the UFC — and dropped by his sponsor, Reebok — following a hit-and-run incident in Albuquerque, N.M., in April 2015.
But on Saturday night, the 30-year-old redeemed himself in the octagon, winning the match with a brutal head kick (his 10th career knockout). Afterward, the athlete announced, “I made it back.”
Jones went on to praise Cormier: “I want to take this time to thank Daniel Cormier for being my biggest rival and motivator.
“He has absolutely no reason to hang his head. He has been a model champion, a model husband, a model father, a teammate, a leader, and I aspire to be a lot more like that man, because he’s an amazing human being. Unfortunately, we were opponents, but outside of that, he is a true champion for the rest of his life,” said Cormier.