How much does Daniel Cormier dislike Jon Jones? If the answer wasn’t already abundantly clear, it’s a whole hell of a lot. The current UFC light heavyweight champion was forced out of his planned bout against Jones at UFC 197 later this month, but if he has his way, he’ll be living the fight vicariously through Ovince St. Preux, who has stepped in to replace the injured Cormier.
DC was on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on Monday, April 4th, and he extended a huge olive branch to divisional rival OSP: Come train, free of cost at AKA, to fight Jon Jones. In effect, he’s willing to fly OSP to San Jose and give the interim title challenger the remaining weeks of his training camp, already set up to get a fighter ready for Jon Jones. Here’s the offer in DC’s own words:
“I think everybody has a shot,” DC said of OSP’s chances against Jones, “but I think there’s a chance for Ovince to have a better shot, but it’s up to him to take it. And that’s why coming here, we’ll open our doors to him, to come and train at the American Kickboxing Academy. I don’t care what happens in the future, I can’t train with Ovince, but I’ve got a guy named Cain Velasquez that can train with him, I’ve got a guy named Luke Rockhold that can train with him, I’ve got a guy named Chi Lewis Parry, I got a guy named Frank Munoz. We’ve got everything in place where he can just take my training camp for the next few weeks.
“Take my training camp, we will take care of it. We’ll fly Ovince and his team out here, we’ll put ’em up, give him a place to stay, because no one in this gym wants to see Jon Jones not have to fight a tough fight on April 23rd. For my pocketbook Jon needs to go out there and win and look great, but we want to give Ovince a chance and every guy on my team, they’re willing to play a part in that.”
“I’ll be one of his coaches,” Cormier assured Helwani. “Listen, nobody wants to fight Jon Jones worse than I do. So, if I can live through Ovince on April 23rd, I will live through Ovince on April 23rd. He can take my training camp. I thought that we had, finally, the perfect mixture of what we needed in order for our preparations. So yes, Ovince can have my training camp. All paid for, right out of my checking account. Ovince St. Preux, if you want to come to San Jose, bud, you got a team in the American Kickboxing Academy that’s ready to support you.”
The question is, is it worth upending OSP’s normal routine just weeks out from the biggest fight of his career, for a whole new training camp at a bigger gym? Or is he better off staying in his comfort zone? Stay tuned as we’ll be sure to keep you updated as to whether or not OSP takes DC’s offer and ends up at AKA in prep for UFC 197.
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