UFC light-heavyweight and heavyweight double champion Daniel Cormier has been trash-talking and insulting Jon “Bones” Jones for years. But he recently took a moment to bestow Jones with perhaps the biggest compliment a champion UFC athlete could give another. Cormier acknowledged that he considers Jones to be “one of the greatest fighters ever”.
Cormier called in to Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on October 1, 2018 to complain about the ridiculousness surrounding Jones’ super-lenient 15-month suspension resulting from an Oral Turinabol positive drug test. Cormier thinks Jones is a “cheat”. He thinks Jones is a “snitch”. Cormier does not respect Jones. However, Cormier was forced to admit that Jones is an incredibly talented MMA athlete.
Cormier had previously told “UFC Tonight” co-host Kenny Florian that he had “moved past” Jones and had no reason to “look back” at another fight with him. After all, Cormier is preparing to defend his heavyweight title, and earn millions of dollars in the process, against Brock Lesnar in January 2019. The prospects for a “Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones 3” looked grim at that point.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) September 20, 2018
“Why would I look back to Jones now when I’ve got a fight?” Cormier asked Florian. “Obviously, as a competitor, I want to fight the guy who’s beat me twice, but I’ve got a fight. Why go back? I’ve got a bigger fight with Brock Lesnar. Why should I go back?”
Yet a few days later, Cormier told Helwani that that wasn’t exactly true. Cormier conceded that he still wants to fight against Jones because Jones is “the best in the world” and “one of the greatest fighters ever”. Cormier is planning to retire in March 2019 so a fight against Jones, win or lose, would be an excellent way to cap off an incredible MMA career.
”I can’t turn this off. It’s what makes me uniquely me: my competitiveness and my desire to fight and compete against the best in the world,” Cormier told Helwani. “And at the bottom of it, no matter how much I talk garbage about this dude, not matter how much I disrespect him, he’s still one of the greatest fighters ever, and I have never not said that.
“He’s a phenomenal talent, he’s a fantastic fighter, he’s just a cheater. And ultimately that fault – that he’s a cheater – does not deter me from wanting to compete against him again.”
The one thing that is absolutely crystal clear is that Cormier does not have any problem fighting steroid users. As much as he complains and criticizes Jones for failing drug tests for metabolites of the anabolic steroid Oral Turinabol, the anti-aromatase letrozole and the selective estrogen receptor modulator Clomid, Cormier actively sought out a fight with Lesnar in spite of the WWE superstar’s multiple failed drug tests for steroid-related drugs.
The likelihood of a Cormier vs. Jones 3 just increased significantly.