Jon Jones has moved past his rivalry with Daniel Cormier and he’s not going back.
On Friday at the UFC 232 pre-fight press conference, Jones addressed his long simmering rivalry with the reigning heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, who takes on Derrick Lewis on Saturday night.
While Cormier has said he would be interested in stepping back into the cage against the only fighter to ever hand him a defeat, it appears Jones has no desire to revisit that matchup again after already facing each other on two previous occasions.
Even with the potential opportunity to challenge Cormier the heavyweight title, Jones just doesn’t see a reason to face him in a trilogy after beating him twice before.
“I would fight D.C. at heavyweight but I feel like I have nothing to prove,” Jones said in response to Cormier. “I’ve beaten him twice and I feel like beating him at heavyweight is putting all the cards in his favor. I have nothing to prove against Daniel Cormier. I always say that a lot of this fighting is not personal to me. My goal is just to be great, it’s not about these individual rivals. So me challenging Daniel Cormier would be making it a personal thing.
While Jones’ second win was overturned to a no contest after he tested positive for steroids last year, USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) later ruled that they didn’t believe the former champion knowingly ingested a banned substance and even if he did, the trace amounts found in his sample would hot have affected his performance.
That vindication is all Jones needed to hear to know that his second victory over Cormier — a third round head kick knockout — was legitimate thus settling their rivalry once and for all.
As for the light heavyweight title, the UFC has already said that Jones’ rematch against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 will determine a new champion in the division.
That hasn’t sat well with Cormier, who teased earlier this week that he may drop back down to 205 pounds after his fight at UFC 230 to defend his title.
“Defend the belt that was never his?” Jones said while taking a shot at Cormier. “I don’t understand how that works. If Daniel Cormier wants to come back down to light heavyweight, he’ll challenge one of the contenders for my belt.
“There’s no reason to grant him a fight. He got knocked out the last time we fought.”