Jon ‘Bones‘ Jones doesn’t know what it’s like to lose, certainly not in the Octagon. So far, the Albuquerque resident has won 27 times and only lost via a controversial disqualification to Matt Hamill earlier in his career. Outside of that blemish, Jones has beaten every man that has stepped across in front of him. Among those men, there are two who’ve had the chance to challenge him twice – Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson.
It is Daniel’s career that has been inextricably tied with Jon’s given the bad blood they’ve shared for years. Fans consider them two of the greatest light heavyweights in MMA history. Jon has twice beaten ‘DC,’ once via a 5-round unanimous decision at UFC 182 and then again at UFC 214.
The 2nd win seemed more definitive than the first as Jones KO’ed Cormier with a head kick in the third round. However, the win was eventually overturned to a no-contest because Jon tested positive for a banned substance. He’d later receive a 15-month suspension from USADA for the failed test.
In Jon’s absence, Cormier continued his reign as the promotion’s light heavyweight champion before taking the heavyweight crown from Stipe Miocic. Many fans are unaware that ‘DC‘ was a heavyweight prior to his UFC career. The Lafayette native has won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and also held the XMMA heavyweight belt.
Even his UFC debut and the following fight happened in the heavyweight division. It was only Daniel’s third promotional fight where he began competing in the light heavyweight division. Before Cormier’s rematch with Miocic, a third fight with Jones at 205 was mentioned a lot by both rivals. However, ‘Bones’ made a shocking claim about a potential heavyweight bout between the duo.
Jon Jones believed Daniel Cormier could beat him at heavyweight
During an interview with Dan Hardy for BT Sport, Jon Jones was asked if Cormier losing a third time to him at 205 lbs would be more devastating than Jones moving up to heavyweight and grabbing DC’s belt. At the time of this interview, Daniel was the undisputed heavyweight champion while Jon was still ruling the light heavyweight division.
In his response, Jon said the latter scenario would be worse for Cormier. Though he pointed out that his rival would also have certain advantages under those circumstances. “Not as devastating as that, no,” Jon said. “But me coming up short, I’m a realist.”
DC to beat Stipe? 🤔
Jones 🆚 DC III? 🤔
“DC is a special athlete, I don’t think most guys would beat him!”
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) May 14, 2019
‘Bones’ continued, “Daniel Cormier is a special athlete and everyone can be beat. I think my greatest chance of losing would be to a guy like Daniel Cormier, with giving him a power and strength advantage over me, it just doesn’t make sense.”
Given the size advantage at the time, Jon openly declined to share the Octagon with Cormier at heavyweight. Jon added, “Right now I make light heavyweight very easily and it just wouldn’t make no sense to fight a guy who I think technically (is) on your level, and to give him a size advantage, I’m not doing it. I’m not doing it.”
“I’m sure my fans don’t like to hear me talk like that, but that’s just me being a realist and being respectful to Daniel’s abilities,” Jones concluded.
Years later, Jon moved up in weight and made his heavyweight debut at UFC 285. He’d go on to submit the former interim title holder Ciryl Gane in the very first round. The fight marked Jones’ UFC return after a 3-year hiatus and turned out to be one of the most profitable events in the company’s history.
As for Daniel Cormier, the Louisiana resident last fought and lost to Stipe Miocic during their rubber match in August 2020. Since then, Cormier has joined the likes of Jon Anik and Joe Rogan in the UFC’s broadcast booth.