Former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier has encouraged Jon Jones to return to fighting before talking down the quality of the heavyweight division.
Among the abundance of stories and narratives heading into the unification showdown between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 last weekend was the future of Jones. In the minds of many, despite the hesitance of Dana White to confirm it, the former UFC light heavyweight champion’s return would come against whoever emerged victoriously.
With Ngannou defying the odds to retain his belt, a clash between “The Predator” and the divisional newcomer appears to be back on the cards, should Ngannou and the UFC’s contractual dispute be settled in the coming months, something that is looking increasingly unlikely.
But while many were impressed with Ngannou’s development in the wrestling department and his ability to turn the tide in the fight by incorporating takedowns and grappling, one man was licking his lips at the prospect of a title in a second weight class.
In one tweet, Jones suggested he was excited about his chances when he makes his long-awaited move to the division having witnessed the “apex of heavyweight fighting.”
If this is the Apex of heavyweight fighting, I’m excited about it. Got some more records to break
— BONY (@JonnyBones) January 23, 2022
“If this is the Apex of heavyweight fighting, I’m excited about it. Got some more records to break.”
Cormier Criticizes Jones For “Judging” Instead Of Fighting
Cormier, Jones’ former arch-rival, has previously expressed his bleak outlook on the GOAT contender’s future at heavyweight. But while he and “Bones” may disagree with the two-time 205-pound champ’s chances in the heaviest weight class, “DC” has reminded him that we’ll never know if he doesn’t actually fight.
Echoing a recent sentiment shared by his fellow color commentator Michael Bisping, in which “The Count” told Jones to, “Stop tweeting and start fighting,” Cormier suggested the 34-year-old should reserve himself from judging either Ngannou or Gane’s performance at UFC 270 when they’re actually entering the Octagon to compete.
“For me, it’s about Jon Jones needs to fight, right? At some point you gotta fight,” said Cormier during a recent episode of DC & RC. “It’s one thing to be the champion, defending, fighting… even when him and I were going through our thing, he would get suspended, but then he would come back and he would fight, even if that meant fighting Ovince Saint Preux when I was hurt. But ultimately, he was fighting.
“Right now, he’s just talking. It’s like, he’s just talking RC? When are you going to fight?” Cormier added. “Because for as bad as it was, Francis had a torn meniscus, Francis was hurt, Francis had a bad training camp, all these thing; Francis still fought. So you can say, ‘They’re not that good,’ but ultimately, they’re still in there doing their thing.
“Why aren’t you in there doing your thing? You are one of the most talented mixed martial artists of all time, why aren’t you in there doing your thing against these guys, as opposed to judging them?”
Despite having not fought since February 2020, Jones’ comments on social media and frequent updates on his weight transformation ahead of a desired heavyweight switch suggest he is still committed to making a push for a second divisional UFC belt.
With Ngannou’s future firmly up in the air, it remains to be seen who Jones must go through to achieve his goal. One thing that is certain, though, as Cormier pointed out, is he has to fight somebody soon if he’s to back up his talk on social media.
Do you agree with Daniel Cormier’s take on Jon Jones’ reaction to UFC 270?
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