Don’t count on Jon Jones moving to heavyweight or Daniel Cormier returning to light heavyweight anytime soon — that’s if you ask the current UFC light heavyweight champion.
Jones doesn’t believe Cormier, the UFC heavyweight champ, would risk dropping back down to 205 pounds only to fall short to Jones a third time. “DC” is scheduled to defend his heavyweight title in a rematch against Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 on Aug. 17. Cormier has one title defense since winning the belt with a knockout of Miocic last summer.
“He’s definitely never coming back to light heavyweight. He says it, but there’s no way he’s coming back to light heavyweight,” Jones said in a recent interview with Dan Hardy for BT Sport. “To commit your life to lose that type of weight and to come up short again would be so devastating. It would take an incredible amount of courage to attempt it, and to come up short would just be so devastating. I doubt he’d put himself through that for the third time.”
Jones and Cormier, who have fought twice with Jones winning both times, have a long history. They first met at UFC 182 in January 2015, when Jones was the longtime light heavyweight champion. Soon after Jones’ decision win, he ran into legal troubles that led to Cormier fighting for and winning the vacant title.
Cormier held the belt for two years, then lost it to Jones when they had a rematch at UFC 214 in July 2017. He was quickly reinstated after Jones failed a drug test in relation to the rematch, which Jones won via third-round knockout.
Jones was eventually given a 15-month USADA suspension, and Cormier continued his reign, defending the title once in early 2018. The 40-year-old then beat Miocic, and in late 2018 defended the title against Derrick Lewis. Cormier was stripped of the light heavyweight title (presumably due to inactivity in that weight class) and Jones beat Alexander Gustafsson in his return for the vacant strap.
Ever since Cormier won the heavyweight title and Jones made a triumphant return at light heavyweight, a trilogy match — and this time a superfight — between the two has been discussed as a possibility. Fans have argued that Cormier would have a better shot against Jones in the heavier division — and that’s a sentiment Jones seems to agree with, which is precisely why the fight won’t be happening, Jones said.
“Daniel Cormier is a special athlete. And everyone can be beat,” Jones said. “I think my greatest chance of losing would be to a guy like Daniel Cormier, with giving him a power and strength advantage over me, it just doesn’t make sense.
“Right now, I make light heavyweight very easily. It just would make no sense to fight a guy who technically is on your level, and to give him a size advantage, I’m not doing it.”
Jones meets Thiago Santos for the 205-pound title at UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas.