It was one of the most contentious rivalries in UFC history but the passage of time appears to have softened Jon Jones’ opinion of old rival Daniel Cormier.
The two fighters, both of whom who held the UFC’s light heavyweight title at one point, clashed throughout much of their careers at 205-pounds, fighting on two occasions — both of which were won by Jones, though the second was changed to a no-contest after Jones was found to have an illegal substance in his system after the fight.
And as Jones looks to equal Cormier’s status as two-division champion when he fights Ciyrl Gane for the heavyweight title in March in what will be his first bout in more than three years, Jones says that he harbours no resentment for Cormier, the man to whom his career will forever be linked.
“I’m not competing against Daniel Cormier,” said Jones to Sports Illustrated.
“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.”
Cormier is expected to be on broadcast duties for Jones’ title bid in the UFC 285 main event on March 4 but it won’t be the first time that the now retired fighter has commentated on a fight involving Jon Jones, after he did so for Jones’ April 2016 fight with Ovince St. Preux — after which Jones gave Cormier a middle finger salute as he exited the cage.
It seems, though, based upon Jones’ recent comments that there will be no repeat of this when he makes his UFC comeback in a few weeks’ time.