Jon Jones was in good spirits last night as he took to the stage to promote his UFC 232 return against Alexander Gustafsson in December.
It seemed as though the former light-heavyweight champion was genuinely excited to resume his UFC run after an incredibly rocky year or so out of the game.
On the mic, he was at his very best, grilling both his UFC 232 opponent Gustafsson and his long-time foe Daniel Cormier with a smirk. It’s clear that his intention is now to move on and with an opportunity to re-establish himself within the MMA world, 2019 could be year we finally see him regain some much-needed consistency.
Speaking at yesterday’s UFC 232 press conference, Jon explained how in his own eyes, Cormier isn’t the real champion of the 205lb division.
“Defend the belt that was never his? 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.”
“I would fight ‘DC’ at heavyweight, but I feel I have nothing to prove. I’ve beaten him twice. I feel like fighting him at heavyweight is putting all the cards in his favor. I have nothing to prove against Daniel Cormier.”
While Cormier holds the UFC’s heavyweight belt, many would assume that a third and final matchup between him and Jones is inevitable.
The grudge that exists between these two is amongst the most heated we’ve ever seen but according to Jon himself, he has been able to rise above holding a personal vendetta against DC.
“I always say that a lot of this fighting is not personal to me. My goals are just to be great. It’s not about these individual rivals. So me challenging Daniel Cormier would be making it a personal thing.
“If he had beat me, then I could see me challenging him, but it’s like, I’ve done enough to that guy. I’m going to let him breathe easy and enjoy some of his stuff.”
“I’m here, I’m in the present, and I’m back on the mission that I’ve always been on, and that’s to solidify myself as one of the greatest fighters ever.”
Whether you believe him or not, it’s hard to deny that Cormier and Jones appear to be on a collision course once again – something that will no doubt be intensified if both men hold UFC championship belts by the end of the year.
If both guys continue winning, do not be surprised to see a third fight before DC inevitably hangs up his gloves.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena