Cormier, the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion, openly speculated Monday on The MMA Hour whether Jones might be "messing with the recipe" to his success with his newfound commitment to the weight room.
Jones defeated Cormier via unanimous decision at UFC 182 in January, but was stripped of his title and suspended in the aftermath of a felony hit-and-run arrest in April. Since being reinstated by the UFC, videos of Jones lifting heavy weights have flooded across the ex-champion's Instagram account. But as Jones made clear late Tuesday night, Cormier's take on his new training regime is being taken with a grain of salt .
If you honestly think transforming 10lbs of fat into muscle will slow me down you're sadly mistaken. I appreciate your concerns DC— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 2, 2015
We are going to see how slow I am when I foot sweep you on your ass again— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 2, 2015
Trust that I'm surrounded by professionals, we are not naïve https://t.co/6Y0mFbnPhS— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 2, 2015
DC tries to get me double guessing my physical strength but fails to mention how he's going to deal with my mental— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 2, 2015
Jones and Cormier are expected to meet in early 2016 in a blockbuster title rematch. When that time comes, the roles will be reversed from their memorable first fight, with Cormier defending his UFC light heavyweight belt against Jones, a challenger for the first time since 2011. And as he reiterated on Monday, Cormier isn't worried about Jones' new and impressive physique.
"Maybe he feels that by getting stronger, it's going to make him a better fighter," Cormier said. "The reality is, when I saw him getting so bulky, as a competitor, I thought, 'Wow, this isn't bad for me.' This isn't bad for me as a competitor, because the Jon Jones that was kind of skinny and maybe wasn't the bulkiest guy, it all worked, Helwani. It all worked. His body, the way his body was, it worked. It allowed him for range; it allowed him for optimal speed. It allowed him for quickness and agility.
"Looking at all the extra bulk, to me I was like, 'Well, maybe this will slow him down. Maybe he won't be the fastest guy. Maybe this guy is messing with what was given to him.' In reality, what has been given to him is perfect."