No more need for Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones to talk about each other in uncertain tones.
The two UFC light heavyweights can now use affirmative and specific verbiage when they exchange their back-and-forth barbs.
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Jones will now defend his title against Cormier, instead of Alexander Gustafsson, at UFC 178 on Sept. 27 in Las Vegas. Gustafsson, who gave Jones his toughest test in 21 pro fights, pulled out of the rematch with a knee injury, the UFC announced Wednesday.
Cormier (15-0), a two-time Olympic wrestler for the United States, is the No. 2 contender in the division after dropping down from heavyweight. He most recently defeated Dan Henderson. Jones (20-1) is coming off a five-round dismantling of Glover Teixeira.
Cormier and Jones, considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts, have regularly taken shots at each other through the media and social media.
"Jon Jones, you can't run away from me forever," the 35-year-old Cormier said after he beat Henderson at UFC 173 in May. "I'm the kid at the wrestling tournament that is always in your bracket. No matter where you go, boy, I'm coming. ... I know nobody can wrestle me so it doesn't matter. If I decide to take Jon Jones down 100 times. This is my Octagon, I'm the man."
Cormier was supposed to have surgery after that May fight to repair a lingering LCL issue, but he chose to put it off.
"This is the fight I wanted in the first place," Jones tweeted Wednesday night. "Nothing like fresh meat."