Jon Jones Gives Rare Compliment to Fierce UFC Rival Daniel Cormier

Jon Jones & Daniel Cormier

Getty Jon Jones & Daniel Cormier

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones praised his rival, Daniel Cormier, during an interview with Sports Illustrated.

“Bones” is preparing for his Octagon return nearly three years after his last bout at UFC 247 in February 2020. He’s set to headline UFC 285 on March 4 opposite Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title. Jones has been doing the media rounds ahead of his duel in Las Vegas, and when speaking with the outlet, he was asked about his old foe, “DC.”

Jones said that he had “nothing but respect” for Cormier and the career the former two-division champion has carved for himself post-retirement. Along with working as a UFC color commentator, Cormier has a successful YouTube channel and recently worked as a referee for a WWE event.

“I’m not competing against Daniel Cormier,” Jones said. “I’ve already beat him twice. I’m really happy for Daniel Cormier. I love what he’s done in his life with his wrestling and broadcasting. I think it’s awesome when a fighter can retire and use his voice and intelligence to do something that he loves, so I’ve got nothing but respect for Daniel Cormier.”

Jones and DC fought twice at 205 pounds with Bones getting his hand raised both times. Their first meeting took place in 2015 when Jones held the belt. He won by unanimous decision, notching his eighth consecutive title defense. They rematched in 2017 during Cormier’s reign as champion. As history has it, Jones took DC’s belt with a head-kick KO, but was later stripped of the belt when he failed a drug test for performance enhancers. The fight was overturned to a no contest and Cormier was reinstated as champion.

Jones Said He Was ‘Chosen By God Himself to Be an Undefeated Fighter’

Jones has a professional record of 26-1 with one no contest, which includes 10 wins via KO/TKO and six by submission. His sole defeat came via disqualification after he landed consecutive illegal elbows on Matt Hamill in 2009. Prior to the referee calling off the fight, Bones was dominating the “Ultimate Fighter” season three standout.

During his interview with Sports Illustrated, Bones said he didn’t think it was “possible for me to lose.”

“Absolutely not,” Jones said. “I really believe in my whole heart that I was chosen by God Himself to be an undefeated fighter. I really believe that with my whole spirit and my whole being. So not only do you have beat me, but you have to beat the God I serve.

“I don’t believe that I was designed to lose. I may have close fights, but I truly don’t believe it’s possible for me to lose.”

Jones Gave Props to Gane for Accepting a Fight With Him

At 11-1, Gane has only tasted defeat once as a professional mixed martial artist. He fought Francis Ngannou for the undisputed heavyweight strap in January 2022 and he lost via unanimous decision. Well, according to Jones, Gane is taking a “huge step up in competition” by fighting him.

“I respect that Ciryl took this fight,” Bones said. “I like what he stands for. He carries himself like a gentleman. I know he has a lot to gain and not much to lose, but this is a huge step up in competition for him in my opinion.

“This is the fight to watch. This is the way MMA is headed. Two lean heavyweights that could have played football or basketball. It’s going to be two elite athletes going at it.”

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