Jon Jones prepares for his comeback at UFC 197 but is already looking into the future and stated that he is uncertain if current champion Daniel Cormier has what it takes to fight him inside the Octagon.
Jones, who will take on last minute replacement Ovince Saint Preux for the UFC light heavyweight interim championship on April 23, continues his word ward with Cormier and tells Fox Sports that he doubts if current champ has the mental toughness to fight him come UFC 205 that will be staged in New York City.
“I would be honored to main event against Daniel Cormier at Madison Square Garden. The question is will Daniel Cormier accept that fight? You know Daniel Cormier, obviously, he’s having a lot of mental struggles when it comes to me. That’s just one more thing that he doesn’t need. I’m sure he doesn’t want to fight me in my backyard because he needs all the mental breaks he can get,” Jones said Friday during the media call for UFC 197.
And Jones might just be right as earlier reports stated that Cormier does not want their match to be staged in New York, adding that its Jones home turf and people will just rally behind him instead of seeing the bigger picture of why Jones was stripped of his title in the first place.
In an interview with Fox Sports last October, Cormier stated that once Jones gets reinstated UFC, their match will not be in the Big Apple but in a “hostile” environment for the former champ to look at the sentiments of people to what he has done. Jones was stripped of his title following a hit-and-run incident in New Mexico where a pregnant woman was injured as well. Jones was under probation and undergone community service for the said case.
“When Jones gets reinstated, New York is probably the only place that he’ll be welcomed without just, like, venomous anger. This is where he’s from so they will actually care for him, they will cheer him. Just like if you take me to Lafayette, Louisiana, no matter what I do, they will cheer me. Why should I allow this guy to go and fight where he’s comfortable? No, he needs to go somewhere he has to look at people in the eyes and hear the anger they have towards him for the actions that he did,” Cormier explained.
As the heated word war between the two continues, one fighter stands by the corner and wants another shot at Jones and that is Rashad Evans, who lost to Jones at UFC 145 in April 2012 via unanimous decision. Evans told MMA Fighting that he would love the opportunity to take on Jones again given the chance.
Be as it may, Jones has made it perfectly clear that he wants to first beat Saint Preux and then go all out for Cormier to reclaim his title. Once achieve, Jones would love to fight anybody at any time at anywhere.
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