By Adam Zipple
Jon Jones wrapped up UFC 214 in Anaheim, Calif. with a thunderous head kick knockout over former Olympian Daniel Cormier at 3:01 of the third round. Jones reclaimed the light heavyweight championship belt and reestablished his place as the greatest light heavyweight of all time.
With his victory, Jones climbs back up the rankings to receive the title of best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, a title only lost due to inactivity.
Jones is nothing short of a prodigy; his staggering list of accomplishments speaks for itself. At just 23 years old, he became the youngest light heavyweight champion ever. His more than four-year reign in the light heavyweight division remains one of the most dominant championship runs in the UFC.
His accolades have come at an expense like many greats in combat sports history, such as Mike Tyson, who was notorious for his struggles outside of the ring.
Jones was stripped of his light heavyweight title in April 2015 for disciplinary reasons following a hit-and-run accident. Jones would later be suspended for one year, after failing a drug test from the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Despite the lengthy layoff, Jones came back to face his toughest rival in Cormier and won in an indecisive fashion.
Jones’s comeback is one of the most compelling redemption stories in combat sports history, and he has an incredible amount of potential at just 30 years old.
Daniel Cormier has been an exemplary champion in the absence of Jones. Jones expressed that sentiment in his post-fight interview.
“I want to take this time to thank Daniel Cormier for being my biggest rival and motivator,” Jones said. “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.”
Cormier seemed to be having success with his striking, even landing a powerful uppercut in the first round that knocked Jones’s mouthpiece out.
In his post-fight interview Cormier said, “I don’t know. If you win both fights, there is no rivalry.”
After paying his respects to Cormier, Jones wasted no time calling out former UFC heavyweight champ and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar.
“Brock Lesnar, if you want to know what it feels like to get your ass kicked by someone who weighs 40 pounds less than you? Meet me in the Octagon,” Jones said.
Lesnar has been going back and forth with Jones, and he was quick to respond.
“Be careful what you wish for, young man,” Lesnar said.
With this tremendous win over Cormier, the sky’s the limit for Jones, as he contemplates what he believes is a “winnable” superfight with Lesnar.