After keeping his mouth shut through throughout his recent United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) suspension, former UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones says he will no longer be allowing negative comments to go unchallenged — particularly from his arch rival Daniel Cormier.
“The only reason I brought up the name of Daniel Cormier is that he brought up my name,” Jones said on the UFC 232 pre-fight conference call (transcript via MMA Fighting). “And I just figured, when I was in trouble, I just stepped back, all summer long, and let everybody talk as much sh*t as they want, and just talk blindly, knowing no facts. I watched everybody that I beat in the past say ‘ohh, he was on steroids when he fought me the first time, that’s why he beat me.’ I just sat back and let everybody have at it.”
“I stayed quiet for almost a whole year,” Jones added. “And now I’m back, and I’m ready to reclaim my throne, and the sitting down and being quiet days are over. Daniel Cormier opened his mouth about me. He wants to sell to the people that steroids had something to do with my success. He would love it if, that’s the dialogue he wants to get out there, that’s the narrative he wants to get out there, and I want to nip it in the bud.”
Jon Jones will battle Alexander Gustafsson for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 232. Speaking on Twitter earlier this week, he offered Cormier the opportunity to be his first title challenger if he beats Gustafsson. That said, he doesn’t expect his rival to accept.
“I challenged Cormier to be my first title defense, and let’s see what he does. I don’t think he responded yet, and I think everybody knows he doesn’t want to fight me a third time,” Jones said.
Fight me one more time and prove you’re actually the champ champ. I’ll donate $100,000 to a charity in San Diego if you accept. Conor McGregor was an actual double Champ, the whole world knows your claim is a freaking joke. You’re more than welcome to be my first title defense
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 20, 2018
“I’m not out to get Daniel Cormier,” Jones continued. “I’m here protecting myself the guy’s out there making comments about me and I’m just responding.”
Do you think we’ll ever see Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier fight again?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/21/2018.