Jon Jones might have recently slammed bitter rival Daniel Cormier on social media, but he has little desire to get back into the cage with him for a third time.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion told ESPN he doesn’t want to fight Cormier, the current heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, because he has defeated him twice already (the second win, a third-round knockout, was later overturned to a no contest due to a Jones positive drug test). Jones doesn’t think he has much to gain from a third win over Cormier, so he doesn’t see the point in a trilogy.
“I already have all the marbles when it comes to Daniel Cormier. I’ve beaten him twice,” Jones said. “This game has never been personal. What is personal to me is chasing greatness, not individuals. So in the case of myself and Daniel Cormier, he needs to fight myself one more time if he ever wants to be considered one of the all-time greats. I don’t need to fight him again to be considered one of the all-time greats.”
Cormier’s light-heavyweight title has always had an asterisk attached to it in the eyes of many fans ever since he won it in 2015. “DC” fell to Jones, the then-champ, by decision early that year. But after Jones was involved in a hit-and-run collision, he was stripped of the title and Cormier won the vacant belt in a fight against Anthony Johnson. Many fans found it difficult — and still do — to consider Cormier the real 205-pound king, especially after last year’s UFC 214, where Jones finished him.
No one can argue the legitimacy of Cormier’s heavyweight title after he beat Stipe Miocic this past summer, though. Miocic holds the divisional record for most successful title defenses in the UFC and was on his way to being the greatest heavyweight ever. Cormier knocked him out in the first-round and remains undefeated at heavyweight.
Cormier holding the heavyweight title does not make a trilogy fight much more enticing for Jones, however. Jones isn’t very interested in trying to dethrone Cormier — even in the different weight class.
“Challenging Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight championship would be me making it personal, and it’s not personal,” Jones said. “I’m not the one who went home crying the first and second times we fought. That was him. There’s nothing inside of me that wants to take things from him or make his life harder in any way. I just want what’s rightfully mine. He can have what’s rightfully his and we can all get along.”
Jones said he was happy for Cormier when he won the heavyweight title in July.
“I felt like he was extremely deserving of becoming a UFC champion,” Jones said. “I felt like for the first time, the night he won, he became an actual UFC champion. I think he was an extremely successful light heavyweight, but I don’t ever think he was the light heavyweight champion. I consider myself the light heavyweight champion since 2011, despite what happened. He joined a club of champions, and I was legitimately happy for him because from afar I know how hard of a worker he is, and I think the heavyweight championship couldn’t be in more deserving hands.”
Cormier recently said he expects to get stripped of the light heavyweight title — presumably in favor of a targeted title fight between Jones and former foe Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 in December.
Cormier, who is slated to defend his heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230, isn’t exactly happy about that. Jones understands Cormier’s frustration, but thinks the two-division champ needs to sit back and look at it from his point of view.
“If USADA came to the conclusion that all the science points to this being a complete accident and unintentional, a part of me feels like the belt should be handed back to me,” Jones said. “A part of me feels like I shouldn’t even have to fight for the belt against Alexander Gustafsson because I was proven innocent. In a way, the belt was never [Cormier’s] in the first place. He was given the belt.”