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Daniel Cormier on Jon Jones' performance: 'There's no way that guy can beat me'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Daniel Cormier wishes he was in Ovince Saint Preux's position Saturday night.

The UFC light heavyweight champion doesn't believe that the Jon Jones that came to fight at UFC 197 could have defeated him, he said on the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show. Cormier would have fought Jones in the main event fight, but had to pull out three weeks ago due to a leg injury.

"He got the job done," Cormier said of Jones. "A lot of times, most guys, they don't have their best performance, they lose. They don't get it done. So, it shows how special Jon is. That being said, very disappointed that I didn't get to compete tonight, because I do believe that if he showed up in the form that he did tonight or if this is the new Jon Jones, there's no way that guy can beat me."

Jones beat Saint Preux via unanimous decision in a complete performance to win the interim light heavyweight title. He swept the scorecards and one judge even gave Jones a 10-8 in the fourth round. That sounds pretty dominant and it was, but it also was not Jones' best career showing. Most thought "Bones" would come out more impressive and perhaps finish OSP. Jones said in the post-fight press conference that it was the late opponent change and not the 15 months away that contributed to a somewhat lackluster effort.

Cormier didn't think Jones was holding anything back with him front and center broadcasting the fight along with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan.

"I think he fought the best he could tonight," Cormier said. "He was gone for a long time, had a lot of issues outside the Octagon and Ovince Saint Preux did a good job. You cannot take it away from Ovince. He fought hard. He showed him things he hadn't seen before. And Jon said it himself; he did not fight well tonight. So hat's off to Ovince. He did a great job and Jon, he didn't hold back. That was as good as he could do."

Jones hasn't fought since beating Cormier to retain the title in January 2015. Three months after that, Jones was arrested on a felony hit-and-run charge and stripped of the belt. Cormier took the vacant title by defeating Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 last May.

The two men will meet again with Cormier the champion in the future. Cormier said he goes to the doctor Monday and could be cleared to fight Jones at UFC 200, which is in sore need of a big-ticket headliner. Cormier vs. Jones 2 would qualify.

And Cormier thinks everything about Saturday night's turn of events works in his favor.

"When [Jones] leaves here, there will be questions as to why he looked as he did tonight," Cormier said. "When he's at home questioning that, that will only benefit me."

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