Daniel Cormier has explained why he is the pound-for-pound number 1 and how Jon Jones will need to defeat him at heavyweight in order to reclaim that title.
Speaking to UFC.com, the heavyweight champion explained how he finally felt as though he stepped out of the shadow of his great rival following his title-winning performance against Stipe Miocic at UFC 226.
“For what I’ve done, winning the heavyweight title, everything was so tied to (Jones) initially that me getting the heavyweight title was something so completely separate, especially being that I was undefeated in the weight class prior.
“Going up into a weight that was always thought to be my weight class, winning the UFC title, it helped me.” (via MiddleEasy)
The UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings, and their general rankings for that matter, mean very little in the grand scheme of things. Of course, there is a certain level of prestige that comes with being able to call yourself world’s P4P great but for the most part, the rankings have no real bearing on your career.
With that being said, there was quite a bit of controversy when Jones’ UFC 232 victory over Alexander Gustafsson wasn’t enough to see him return to the top of rankings.
Cormier, who Jon beat once officially back in 2015 and later fought again and TKO’d to an eventual no-contest in 2017, still sat in the top-spot – which, when you think about it, does make quite a bit of sense considering his then-status as a two-weight world champion.
According to the man himself, he believes that Jon will have to prove his pound-for-pound credentials in order to truly steal away that mantle from him.
“I think for Jones to truly get back everything that he’s lost, it would be good for him and I to fight again. For me, I’ve established my career outside of him.
“He’s done things outside of me, too, but for him, it would be good if he got to fight me again.
“It feels great. Even when they keep releasing the pound-for-pound rankings and I’m ranked above him and he goes, ‘That’s BS,’ absolutely not. You are a great fighter, but you’re a great fighter at the weight class you’ve always stayed at.
“I’ve done it in multiple weight classes and pound-for-pound says it’s a fighting style that translates across weight classes, and I’ve been the champion in two of them. So I think I am the definition of pound-for-pound.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena