Published: 14:03 | 26/7/17

Cormier plays down "Frazier-Ali" comparisons

Daniel Cormier has played down hype suggesting Saturday's UFC 214 fight with Jon Jones will be the UFC equivalent of boxing's Frazier v Ali epics.

Cormier, 38, has a 19-1 win record and four successful defences of his UFC title, with his only defeat coming against Jones in 2015. A rematch between the two top light heavyweights has been postponed twice.

Jones was stripped of his light heavyweight belt following a hit-and-run incident, then a rematch was postponed after Cormier suffered a foot injury, and another rematch at UFC 200 was called off after Jones failed a drugs test.

Louisiana native Cormier is defending champion at 205 pounds after victories over Anthony "Rumble" Johnson [twice], Alexander Gustafsson and Anderson Silva, but says he needs to beat Jones, 30, for there to be any meaningful comparison between the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fights.

Ali and Frazier fought three times between 1971 and 1975, with Ali winning the second, non-title fight and the final "Thrilla in Manila" bout in 1975, after Frazier had won the 1971 "the fight of the century" at Madison Square Garden.

"Jon's been going on this whole thing how this is no different than any other fight and if that's his approach, great," Cormier said.

"But I know there's more to it. I will be honest and say, yes, this is the rival for me because this is the person that beat me. 

"Now if I don't win this fight, this is no rivalry. It's just one guy that beat the other guy twice. You don't consider those rivalries. Frazier and Ali was really good because Ali won two. I have to win."

Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones will headline the UFC 214 card from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, which will be shown live on BT Sport 2 on the eir sport platform on Sunday, 30 July at 3am Irish time.

Photo Getty Images/Richard Heathcote

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