Daniel Cormier is not only the UFC light heavyweight champion, but he's also a huge pro wrestling mark [fan]. That's why it comes as no surprise that Cormier is often willing to engage in a war of words with #1 contender and former UFC champion Jon Jones.
The two have a long history of disrespecting one another, and with another fight on the horizon, we've seen both men ramp up their antics.
"Lately I've been having to do a little more talking because the fans have... they’ve kind of turned on me, which is okay. I get it. It's okay. But, I kind of relate myself to Roman Reigns, John Cena, those types of guys," said Cormier on the Edge and Christian Pod of Awesomeness.
Both John Cena and Roman Reigns are no strangers to fans booing them. You'd be hard pressed to hear John Cena's music played at an event, pro wrestling or other, and not hear a few people shout, "John-Cena-Sucks!"
Roman Reigns has been booed for the better part of three years and much to the chagrin of diehard fans, it only propels his career. That's because any reaction is a good reaction in the world of combat sports.
"Guys that are supposed to be good guys but the fans just have something that they don't like, something that doesn't resonate with them, and it's okay. So I’ve kind of been having to talk a little bit more and it's refreshing. People don’t want to be told, 'I'm good so you should cheer for me.'"
Cormier delves deeper into why fans gravitate toward Jon Jones. He speculates that his clean-cut, family man persona rubs fans the wrong way.
"Jon Jones is a guy that has made a lot of mistakes, so maybe people relate to him more. They go, 'Forget this Daniel Cormier goody two-shoes, him and his kids and his family. I want the guy that does coke and parties and crashes cars. That's the guy I like, that guy's cool. Maybe I'm not cool enough because I go to work, I fight. When I'm not fighting, I go back and I go to my kids' soccer and baseball games. That’s what I do. I go to wrestling. I’m not out partying. I’m not out doing all kinds of crazy stuff. Maybe I’m just too boring, but I’m fine with it. I like my life.”
Cormier has learned the best way to deal with the negative reaction is to embrace it. It's the way all face-to-heel turns are handled in pro wrestling and the formula holds true for all sports.
Jon Jones caught wind of these Cormier statements and immediately had to fire back via Twitter.
The Cormier-Jones banter has been as good as any WWE scripted promo and the "heat" they've generated has built an interest in their fights. Fans have to hope the buildup leads to a fight in the Octagon, because history shows that there's no guarantee when it comes to these two fighters.