The stakes are high for both fighters, and it is hard to say who has more to lose for their legacy should they come up short on Saturday.
Jones' victory thrilled a crowd that was deflated after Woodley defended his welterweight belt with a strong technical performance against the 39-year-old Maia, a vaunted jiu-jitsu specialist from Brazil.
"I made it back", Jones said. Jones showed no mercy, firing off a kick to the body that dropped the groggy Cormier to the mat, and unleashed punishing ground-and-pound.
UFC 214 is without question the biggest, deepest fight card of the year with three title fights and a slew of enticing matchups. The co-headliner features champion welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, defending against Demian Maia.
Cormier was devastated by the result, first angry about something Jones had done and wanting to continue to bout after it had ended, before breaking down into floods of tears.
'I don't know if you guys realize, I don't come out and attack any fighter unless they say something sideways about me, ' Jones said. There will be no trilogy. "I just want to make sure I compete against the right stylistic matchup for me when I go to heavyweight and challenge for that title".
"I never had a problem with him".
For Jones, he believes his past mishaps were played in part by becoming so big at such a young age.
Cormier and Jones first fought at UFC 182 in January 2015 in a fight in which Jones won via a one-sided unanimous decision. Neither has fought in the other one's division but if a fight has to happen, Jones will have to be the one moving up a weight class.
Jones completed his much hyped Octagon return with a stunning stoppage of Cormier after more than a year on the sidelines. Perhaps that is why Daniel Cormier has taken issue with the treatment of Jones.
"He's a guy who can't stop hurting himself and people around him", Cormier said.
Cyborg has two fights in the UFC, both TKO wins. "Obviously, as a champion in the public eye, you've got to keep a certain standard of integrity, but ultimately, it all comes back to fighting".
It was emotional to watch, as the veteran sobbed his heart out, being consoled by his trainers then the classy Jones. They got into an infamous brawl in a Las Vegas casino lobby in 2014 during the early stages of their promotion of the first bout. "And so having this last two years, pretty much, off, I really got to take a step back and look at my career". Jones now brags about his cocaine usage and makes sure that Cormier is fully aware that he was beaten by Jones after a "weekend of cocaine". There is no doubt that a Lesnar-Jones fight would generate north of 1M PPV buys quite easily, I'm thinking.