Jon Jones called out his bitter rival following his UFC 232 title win on Saturday night.
After finishing Alexander Gustafsson with strikes in the third round to become the light heavyweight champion, Jones addressed current heavyweight champ and former light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier — seemingly calling for a fight at 205 pounds.
“I know there’s a guy who’s been calling himself champ champ,” Jones said in his post-fight interview at The Forum in Inglewood, California. “I mean, what guy just gives up his belt because somebody else made it home? Daddy’s home, ‘DC.’ Prove to the fans you’re a champ champ. Come get a taste. I’m here. Get your belt back — it’ll be waiting right here.”
Leading up to Jones’ rematch against Gustafsson, Jones and Cormier exchanged verbal barbs on social media. Cormier had nothing nice to say about the adverse findings in Jones’ recent drug tests that came to light earlier this week. He also relinquished the 205-pound title Friday, a day before he would have been stripped at the commencement of Jones vs. Gustafsson 2.
Jones and Cormier have gone back and forth on whether a trilogy fight should and will ever happen. Jones has said he’s not interested in fighting Cormier at heavyweight, where he is the current titleholder, because he doesn’t want to takeaway from Cormier’s accomplishments. Jones doesn’t believe Cormier was ever the real light heavyweight champion.
In an interview with ESPN after the fight, Jones explained why he called out Cormier in his post-fight interview.
“He tries his hardest to discredit to me,” Jones said of Cormier. “He wants fans to believe that a picogram of some bullcrap had anything to do with my success. If he wants to discredit who I am, I’ll discredit that he was ever a light heavyweight champion. He was never a light heavyweight champion. I’ve been the light heavyweight champion since 2011.”
Despite the call-out, Jones said he isn’t certain he wants to fight Cormier next, and reiterated that he isn’t interested in moving up to heavyweight to face him.
“I don’t even want to necessarily want to fight him next. He gave his belt up. That makes no sense,” Jones said. “He knows he can’t beat me again. If he wants some, he can get some at the light heavyweight division. But I don’t care who I fight next.”
Cormier held the light heavyweight belt from May 2015 to just earlier this week, but briefly lost it in July 2017 when Jones knocked him out in a rematch. Jones tested positive for a banned substance after the fight, however, and Cormier was reinstated as champion. Cormier first won the belt three and a half years ago after Jones was involved in a hit-and-run accident; Cormier beat Anthony Johnson for the vacant strap.
Jones defeated Cormier the first time at UFC 182 in January 2015 by unanimous decision.
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