If you're hoping for a trilogy match between current two division UFC champion Daniel Cormier (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) and former defending champion Jon Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC), then do not stop your Breath.
"There's no reason to fight (Cormier)," Jones said today at a news conference in New York to promote his UFC 232 fight with Alexander Gustafsson. "The last time we fought, he's knocked out."
Jones and Cormier have fought twice, with "Bones" winning every time. However, the recent pairing, a fight that Jones won in July 2017 with a knockout in the third round, was thrown to a no-contest when Jones tested positive for Turinabol. This finding ultimately led to a 15-month suspension order from US Anti-Doping Agency.
Cormier then regained the title he had before the fight – a belt he won in May 2015 after Jones was robbed of the championship because of a violation of the UFC Code of Conduct for Athletes.
Due to the circumstances, Jones said that there really is no reason for Cormier to call himself the true champion of the division and said that if "DC", who also holds the heavyweight title of the UFC, wants to reach 205 pounds, he can join to measure someone else.
This is in sharp contrast to Cormier's earlier statements in the run-up to the UFC 232 on Saturday, when he said that if he accidentally loses his heavyweight title to Derrick Lewis, he could possibly rise back to 205 pounds and defend the light heavyweight title. This is scheduled to remove him as Jones and Gustafsson meet at the UFC 232 in December. The winner then becomes champion.
"Defend the belt that was never his?" Jones asked. "I do not understand how that works. If Daniel Cormier wants to return to light heavyweight, he will challenge one of the contenders for my belt. "
Of course, there was some speculation that a third fight between the two would be the best place to fight in the heavyweight division, where things might turn out differently than in the first two meetings. Jones said despite the fact that he might add another belt to his trophy case, a heavyweight meeting with Cormier is not appealing.
"I would fight heavyweight against DC, but I think I have nothing to prove," Jones said. "I beat him twice. I feel like I'm fighting him if he puts all the cards in his favor. I have nothing to prove against Daniel Cormier.
"I always say many of these fights are not personal to me. My goals are just great. It's not about these individual rivals. So I would challenge Daniel Cormier to do it personally. If he had beaten me, I could see how I challenged him, but I've done enough with this guy. I'll let him breathe easily and enjoy some of his things. "
At the moment, the results of the UFC 230 headliner on Saturday between Cormier and Lewis seem to have no bearing on Jones' future. Instead, he said he was looking for a stellar 18-month return on the shelf and a chance to solidify his claim as an all-time major.
"I'm here, I'm in the present, and I'm back on the mission that I've always had and that will solidify me as one of the greatest fighters of all time," said Jones.
For more information about UFC 230 and UFC 232, see the UFC Rumors section of the Web site.