With his decision win over Ovince St Preux at UFC 197, interim UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones moves to face light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier in a title unification bout at a to-be-confirmed event.
Jones was set to face Cormier at UFC 197 before the champ was forced out due to injury just three weeks prior to the event. He may have defeated replacement opponent St Preux, but the performance was arguably the weakest we’ve seen from Jones in the UFC.
“A lot of times when guys don’t have their best performance they lose. They don’t get it done. So it shows how special Jon is,” Cormier said after Jones’ win over OSP. “With that being said (I’m) very disappointed that I didn’t get to compete tonight because I do believe that if he showed up in the form he did tonight, or if this is the new Jon Jones, there’s no way that guy can beat me.”
With Jon having to adjust his game on short notice to suit a new opponent, some have speculated that the Jackson-Wink MMA fighter would have performed much better had he faced Cormier as planned. But ‘DC’ doesn’t share that view.
“I think he fought to the best he could tonight,” he said. “He was gone for a long time, had a lot of issues outside the Octagon and Ovince St Preux did a good job.”
“He didn’t hold back; that was as good as he could do,” he continued. “When he leaves here there will be questions why he looked as he did here tonight. When he’s at home questioning that, that’ll only benefit me.”
Cormier vs. Jones 2 will be next but doesn’t have a date yet as Cormier has yet to be given a date by doctors for when he can resume training. But the champ wants it to be known that, with original UFC 200 main event Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor having been scratched, he is willing to step up and put his belt on the line July 9th.
“I feel I can be healthy for any time. UFC 200 needs a main event, doctor gives me the go-ahead, I’ll be ready to go.”