Las Vegas, NV, United States (4E Sports) – UFC title challenger Daniel Cormier said he downplayed a partially torn ACL for a chance to fight light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and that the latter should also toughen up.
Jones (20-1) suffered what reportedly were a torn meniscus and a sprained ankle, postponing the fight to Jan. 3, headlining UFC 182.
The fight was originally scheduled at UFC 178 on Sept. 27 in Las Vegas.
While Cormier emphasized that Jones didn’t withdrew to duck a fight, he said that the latter should just “tough it up and fight.”
“I said from the beginning that Jon Jones isn’t afraid of anyone,” Cormier said. “But if I can go in there with a partially torn ACL, I think he should have fought; tough it up and fight.”
Cormier (15-0), an undefeated former Olympic wrestler, added he declined surgery on his right ACL because his previously injured LCL had healed enough to make a quick turnaround for Jones.
He said he has been assured by UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta that he would remain as Jones’ next opponent.
Alexander Gustafsson was originally slated to face Jones on Sept. 27 until he was injured.
Taking over the main event of UFC 178 is the title defense of flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (20-2-1) against Chris Cariaso.