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Daniel Cormier on Jon Jones questioning his athleticism: 'Who's the athlete?'

Esther Lin

LAS VEGAS - At Monday's UFC 182 press conference, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones cracked wise on Daniel Cormier's physique, implying the former Olympic wrestler doesn't look like an athlete.

At Wednesday's open workouts, Cormier, Jones' challenger in Saturday night's main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, had a reply for the champ.

"I saw something the other day where Jon Jones said, Daniel Cormier's body doesn't look like an athlete," Cormier said. "Well, I can grab the rim of a basketball [hoop]. Jon Jones is 6-foot-4 and he can't dunk a basketball. So who's the athlete?"

For his part, Jones is willing to concede that he can't dunk. But he also says the question of whether one is an athlete can't be reduced to such simple terms.

"It's true, I've never been able to dunk a basketball," Jones said. "I've got no calves. Well, I mean, if we're going to take dunking a basketball and sum that up as being a better athlete, I'll give it to him, then. Last I checked, we didn't play on a court."

Jones figures Cormier is simply trying to engage in a little mental warfare.

"Cormier needs to do anything he can to build himself up," Jones said. "Right now, his mental game is important. So he's going to say a lot, he's a great talker, he's a commentator for a reason. Saying he's the better athlete, all right, who cares."

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