Jon Jones looked like he didn't want to be there. But that didn’t prohibit him from landing some verbal blows to longtime rival Daniel Cormier.
Jones stayed mostly quiet and appeared to be fuming throughout a joint interview with Cormier conducted by Brian Stann during the UFC on FOX 25 broadcast Saturday night. The two men will meet with Cormier's light heavyweight title on the line in the main event of UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif.
“It doesn’t matter at all,” Jones said. “In Daniel’s heart, he knows he hasn't beaten me, if he can really go to sleep at night believing he's the champion … it’s whatever.”
Jones beat Cormier to retain the belt in 2015. But before he could defend the title again, Jones was arrested on a felony hit-and-run charge and was stripped of the belt. Cormier won the vacant title by defeating Anthony Johnson in May 2015 and has held it ever since.
“He got himself into trouble,” Cormier said. “I didn’t have to beat him to become champion, because he beat himself.”
Jones and Cormier were supposed to meet in an epic rematch at UFC 200 last year, but Jones was pulled three days from the fight due to a failed drug test. He has been suspended since then and only became eligible to compete again earlier this month.
The longtime hated rivals will finally meet again next week. Cormier said he's going to punch Jones in the face “the moment they say fight” and “run right through this dude" in the stand up.
“I am the champion,” Cormier said. “I’m going to remain the champion next week and I can finally put this chapter in a long, storied career behind me.”
When asked if the two can come to a reconciliation by Stann, Jones replied: “F*ck DC.” Cormier laughed in response.
“I have no desire to be friends with him,” Cormier said. "In terms of respect for his abilities, sure. He's a great fighter, I’ve always said he’s a great fighter. But every time going forward we see each other, there's still going to be issues. Because either I'm gonna smack him upside his head or something is gonna happen. We're not gonna be friends and we're never gonna be able to be in the same space, because there will always gonna be issues. Because he's a punk.”