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Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier loom large over UFC 202 light heavyweight bout

UFC light heavyweight contenders Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira stayed out of the fray at Wednesday’s news conference in advance of their matchup at UFC 202 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

While headliners Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz fired expletives and bottles across the David Copperfield Theater, Johnson and Teixeira were downright civil.

In fact, they were able to find common ground during the course of the abbreviated news conference.

Johnson and Teixeira agreed there is way too much talk about what is next for the winner of their bout.


 

While it seems clear a title shot against Daniel Cormier is the prize up for grabs on Saturday night, speculation about that bout is premature.

There is also the remote possibility former champ Jon Jones could be back in the mix after UFC president Dana White hinted at a positive development in his fight to challenge a positive drug test that has Jones facing a potential two-year suspension.

Johnson insists he has enough to worry about just preparing for Teixeira, who has won three straight fights.

“Hopefully I get Daniel,” Johnson said. “Jon has to worry about other (things) than worrying about me or me worrying about him. So I’m not really focused on Jon. Hell, before I get to Daniel I have to get through this beast that’s to my left over here. That’s a Brazilian killing machine right here, Glover. I’m focused on that and not really worried about neither one of those guys.”

Teixeira was even more clear about his feelings on the subject.

“I don’t know what’s going on with Jon Jones and I don’t really care,” he said.

That didn’t stop the questions and Johnson finally snapped.

“Y’all, stop talking about Daniel and Jon,” he said. “I’ve got to fight Glover. I’m tired of hearing (those names).”

It was the culmination of a whole lot of conversation about the champion and former champ.

Johnson has already had one shot against Cormier, losing by third-round submission in May 2015 for the then-vacant belt. It was his only loss in his last 12 fights. Johnson was actually supposed to fight Jones on that date, but Jones was pulled from the card and stripped of his belt after he was charged in a hit-and-run accident.

He conceded he would still like to fight Jones at some point.

“Yeah, I want it,” Johnson said of a matchup with the man widely considered the best fighter in UFC history. “If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But, I’m not going to hold my breath and wait to find out.”

Another shot at Cormier would also work for Johnson. The powerful slugger hopes if the chance does come, the outcome will be different.

“Hopefully when I hit him, he stays down and doesn’t get up like he did last time,” Johnson said.

Teixeira hopes to keep that rematch from happening.

“Daniel Cormier is the champion now, so that’s why I asked for the fight with Anthony Johnson first,” he said. “He’s the No. 1 contender, and I have to beat him so I can fight for the title. After this fight, yeah, we’re fighting for the title.”

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

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