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Fireworks erupt at UFC Summer Kickoff press conference


Fireworks erupted at today's UFC "Summer Kickoff" press conference in Dallas, which included some key announcements of fights between now and the end of July.

Most of the focus was on UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, who meet for the title on July 29th at the Honda Center in Anaheim. This time, Cormier was cheered more than Jones, and had the louder chants.

Jones talked about how Cormier's belt is "a piece of sh*t" because he never beat him, and both talked about an incident that happened just before the event started.

"F*** no, he never beat me," said Jones. "The belt he has over there is an imaginary belt. I messed up."

Before it was over, Cormier made remarks about Jones doing steroids, cocaine, and "sandblasting" prostitutes, while Jones claimed that he had a great month a few years ago when he did cocaine all weekend and then beat Cormier a week later.

"Is he really going to be in Anaheim?," said Cormier, who was embracing being a heel, only to get cheered, and even did the Chris Jericho "Drink it in man" pose. "Is this guy really going to be at the fight? Is he going to mess this up by doing steroids, doing cocaine, or sandblasting prostitutes?"

Jones then responded, "I beat you after a weekend of cocaine. I had great back-to-back weekends, cocaine one weekend and you next."

Jones also said that Cormier has shown him nothing in his recent fights, saying Anthony Johnson handed him a win and he looked even worse against Anderson Silva.

Cormier did seem off over an incident that had taken place before the press conference. Cormier said that Jones said something about Cormier's kids and he smashed him in the face with a water bottle. Jones claimed that Cormier was crying and hugging Cain Velasquez and that he'd better love the next 11 weeks as champion and make Christmas cards while holding the belt.

Later, when it came down to pose-offs, Cormier and Jones were kept far apart. Jones came out with a replica belt and was heavily booed by a crowd that chanted "DC" with light chants for Jon Jones.

The biggest announcement of the show was more weekly UFC fights. They announced a weekly five-fight show that will air every Tuesday night, starting on July 11th, called "Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series."

This will finally culminate White's dream from 15 years ago about redoing the Tuesday Night Fights show that was a staple of USA Network programming in the 80s and 90s.

The show will take place from the UFC's Gym in Las Vegas, and air on Fight Pass.

There were a lot of verbal fireworks, but the only physical fireworks were between Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa, who headline a June 25th event in Oklahoma City. Lee, dressed up like Jimmy Snuka and trying to play a badass from the hood, claimed Conor McGregor was trying to take from him when accused of copying McGregor. He talked about being a product of hood and hip hop culture, that he's real and McGregor isn't, and how there's nothing better than being young, black, and rich.

Later, when Michael Johnson, who faces Justin Gaethje on July 7th, talked about how Gaethje needs to be ready to die, Lee said that Johnson has had 30 fights, lost half of them, and never killed anyone.

Chiesa said Lee "looks like some dork who got kicked out of Woodstock," after Lee made fun of his mullet.

Lee mentioned Chiesa's mother being at the fight, and Chiesa said "Don't you ever talk about my mom." After a few seconds of them yelling at each other, Chiesa got up and made a beeline toward Lee. Lee threw a punch when he got there and both were pulled apart and kicked off the stage. Later, they were brought out to pose for photos together and both said words to each other but security let them near each other, something they wouldn't allow Jones and Cormier to do.

Chris Weidman vs. Kelvin Gastelum was announced as the main event for a FOX show on July 22nd at the Nassau Coliseum. Weidman said he wanted Gegard Mousasi, but was not going to turn down a main event at the Nassau Coliseum. Both were respectful to each other -- really the only ones who were.

Weidman vs. Gastelum and Gaethje vs. Johnson were made official, as was a July 8th women's bantamweight title fight with Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko that had been rumored. Nunes and Shevchenko went back-and-forth verbally with Nunes talking about how she had already beaten Shevchenko.

The scheduled July 8th main event with Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw for the bantamweight title is in jeopardy. The video package before the press conference hyped the fight with lots of clips and a storyline about Dillashaw leaving Team Alpha Male, but neither were there. An excuse was made for Garbrandt, but Ariel Helwani on Twitter reported that Garbrandt is dealing with serious back issues and the fight is in jeopardy.