Right after he broke the news that he was pulling out of his UFC 197 title defense against Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier offered a helping hand to his replacement, Ovince Saint Preux.
“DC” extended an invite to Saint Preux to come and train with them in San Jose at the American Kickboxing Academy, alongside the likes of Cain Velasquez, Luke Rockhold, and Chi Lewis Parry. Saint Preux, however, turned down Cormier’s offer.
Cormier and Jones have been going at it since late 2014, throwing barbs at each other, both in person during media obligations, and through social media. But recently, the reigning 205-pound champion seemingly changed his tune about his long-time rival.
Speaking to FOX Sports, Cormier admitted that he would not have been that much help to Saint Preux, given his own experience of fighting Jones.
“Even if I don’t help Ovince Saint Preux and I can’t help him beat Jon because I don’t know how to beat Jon Jones, I didn’t do it. I can only prepare myself as best I can to try and prepare to beat him,” Cormier said.
“Like I said, I didn’t beat him the first time so I don’t have some secret serum to give Ovince, but I would try to help him because even by me being there, it bugs him.”
Early this year, Jones reclaimed the number one spot at the UFC’s pound-for-pound list, despite his 12-month inactivity. While fighters like Conor McGregor have disputed these rankings, Cormier, apparently is in full agreement.
“I never downplay what Jones is to this sport and what he’s been to this sport. As a competitor I have to be honest with myself, this is a tough one for Ovince,” Cormier said. “He’s obviously a big, long guy that could cause some issues for most people, but Jon is who he is for a reason.”
“He’s the greatest fighter to ever put on a pair of gloves,” he continued. “This one is tough for Ovince to get done. This will be a very, very difficult task for him.”
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