The title unification bout between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones has been a long time in the making. Ever since their first duel at UFC 182 there’s been the feeling that a rematch was always just around the corner. Even when ‘Bones’ was suspended and stripped of the title, we all knew that the second fight was imminent. Now that July 9 date is within touching distance, as we stand on the cusp of UFC 200 fight week, and the rivalry between ‘DC’ and Jones has ramped up once again.
There’s been plenty said in the war of words between the two long standing rivals, but perhaps the biggest question about the fight itself is regarding growth. How much has Cormier evolved, and on the opposite side of that coin how much has Jones potentially regressed? At UFC 197 we saw an extremely rusty former champion put in a rather dull performance, albeit one sided, against Ovince St-Preux. ‘DC’ recently claimed ‘this is the new Jon Jones,’ if true this could mean a very different rematch at UFC 200.
An interesting stat about Jon Jones; he has the same number of first round finishes at 205 pounds as former middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Cormier has made use of Jones’ recent decision streak, saying ‘Bones’ lacks power and ability to stop fights. Talking during a recent podcast, as quoted by MMAFighting.com, the current interim champion Jones offered his response to Cormier’s criticism:
“The funny thing about him saying that is, Daniel Cormier doesn’t punch hard. I think the only person I can recall him knocking out is ‘Bigfoot’ Silva. I’m not trying to offend ‘Bigfoot’ Silva but, I mean, he’s not known to have the strongest chin in the game. So, you name anybody else who he knocked out with one punch and walked away, I don’t think I’ve seen it.”
Jones recounts his UFC 182 decision win over Cormier, pointing out that at no time did the wrestler inflict any damage:
“In my fight with Daniel Cormier, he always talks about how I was working his body and I kicked him in the ribs and I kneed him in the ribs, and these body shots that really sent a shockwave going through his body,” Jones said. “But at no point in the fight did one of his punches do anything to me, or kicks. At no point in the fight did he get me to bleed. At no point in the fight did he get me to lose my breath or to look up at the clock out of frustration. At no point did he wobble me with a punch. I mean, Daniel Cormier caught me with like 60 uppercuts in that fight, and I’m exaggerating. Not one of those uppercuts did anything to me.”
“Never made me stumble. None of his kicks made me back up or stop moving forward. So, he’s trying paint this picture of me not being a powerful guy, but I kicked his ass.”
I actually hurt him with strikes, where he did nothing to me. I’ve heard him in interviews say that he’s going to walk me down and take me down right away because obviously I don’t have the stopping power to stop him from walking forward. But the reality is, if I wanted to go out there and walk him down, take him down for the sixth time, he doesn’t have the stopping power to stop me.”
“We’ve brought in absolutely zero special training partners from anywhere,” Jones said. “I’ve been working with the same few guys my whole career. These guys, they’ll go southpaw for me if I need them to go southpaw, they’ll shoot on me if I need them to shoot on me more, they’ll throw uppercuts more if I need uppercuts, overhands if I need overhands. I mean, DC getting a 6-10 guy shows how big I am in his head, how deep I am in his head.
“That’s what he looks at me as, this freaking 6-10 monster.”