Although Jon Jones is about to fight the man who provided him his greatest test to date, “Bones” continues to field questions about a possible third bout with longtime rival, Daniel Cormier. If you’re a big “DC” fan, some of the answers he’s been giving may not be going over so great…
Jones will face Alexander Gustafsson tonight at UFC 232, in a contest that will determine who is the promotion’s new light-heavyweight champ. Until recently, Cormier held that title, and the decorated fighter continues to rule the UFC’s heavyweight division as well.
Since Jones has defeated Cormier twice before, there’s been extensive speculation as to whether the rivals could fight one more time (before “DC” retires next year). While fielding that question, and whether Jones might entertain moving up to heavyweight to face Cormier, “Bones” said this (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“It’s up to Daniel Cormier to challenge me to get his belt back,” Jones said. “I heard that he ended up relinquishing his belt, and I think that’s a good look. But at the end of the day, I know most people know that he never was the champion. Hats off to him for being the heavyweight champion of the world, but I’ve been the light heavyweight champion since 2011. That’s just facts. That’s just facts. The belt was given to him. He has not beaten me. So, he can cancel all doubts by challenging me and really being a legit champ champ.”
“Nah, no,” Jones said, when asked about possibly fighting Cormier at heavyweight. “He looks good at heavyweight. He’s designed to be a heavyweight. He’s comfortable there. He naturally goes to heavyweight between every fight. That is his spot, and like I said, he makes a great heavyweight champion. Even before fighting me, he was on a tear at heavyweight. That’s his zone. I have no reason to challenge him at heavyweight, because for me it’s not personal.
So, there you go. A shot at Cormier’s run at 205, before some praise for what he’s done at heavyweight.
Do most fans really not see Cormier’s reign at light-heavyweight as legitimate? Since Jones was out? And because the latter defeated him twice? Some do. Sure. But, on account of Jones’ second USADA flag, there is also a camp of fans who question his legitimacy, even if it was concluded by an arbiter that the former champ didn’t knowingly take performance-enhancing drugs.
It’s also somewhat interesting to hear that Jones has no interest in fighting Cormier at heavyweight. If Jones wins tonight, there’s not really a contender right now who stands out as a serious threat to “Bones”. So, a third bout between Jones and Cormier, at heavyweight, sounds about right no?