By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
At a fan Q&A on Friday in Chicago, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones responded to potential challenger Daniel Cormier, who has been calling him out for a fight after he makes his UFC debut in the heavyweight division this April. Jones commented on the subject when discussing a potential move to the heavyweight division, saying Cormier’s the one fighter at heavyweight he won’t fight there.
“That guy’s going to have to come and get me,” Jones said. “He’s been talking all this trash. I’m going to make him cut that weight.”
Cormier took the comment in stride in an interview over the weekend with MMAFightCorner.com, saying he’s happy he’s getting a reaction from the Champ.
“I think that’s great,” he said of Jones’ comments. “I think over the course of this whole thing he never flat out said ‘I want to fight Daniel.’ Even whenever people would ask him things like ‘What about DC?’ he’d say things like I need to stop talking and get down to the weight. Then there was the follow up question ‘Is that a fight you’re interested in?’ and he would never just straight out say ‘Yea I want to fight Daniel’ And today was probably the first time he said that. So I think that’s a very, very good thing.”
The Strikeforce Heavyweight World Grand Prix winner isn’t going after Jones from a disrespectful place. In fact, it’s the opposite. Cormier holds Jones in high regard from a competitive standpoint, but he also believes he knows what it will take to beat Jones.
“I don’t think many guys can beat that dude [Jones], that’s the thing,” Cormier said. “I’ve said time and time again, regardless of what you feel about Jon Jones as a person, or as a fan, he’s unbelievable, he’s a great fighter and not many guys can beat him. I truly believe that, unbiased.”
“[To beat Jones], first off, I think you have to be on two Olympic teams, you have to be a six time US national champion, NCAA finalist and three-time All American and an undefeated MMA fighter. That seems like the perfect solution [to beating Jones].”
Penick’s Analysis: Cormier and Jones may be destined for a fight down the line, but for as much as it’s been talked about it’s not necessarily coming anytime soon. Dana White has already said Dan Henderson is ahead of Cormier if he beats Lyoto Machida, and though he’s been fantastic so far, Cormier has a tough fight in Frank Mir still this April. He should win that, and then will probably take a fight at light heavyweight if Henderson wins next Saturday. But the fact that Jones sounds willing to fight Cormier at 205 is a win for Cormier right now, and sets the stage for what he needs to do going forward to get that fight.
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