Daniel Cormier can’t see Jon Jones becoming UFC heavyweight champion.
Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) has been working toward a move up to heavyweight ever since relinquishing his 205-pound title in August 2020, but he’s yet to make his divisional debut.
Cormier, who’s rivalry with Jones goes beyond their two fights, is well aware of how skilled Jones is. But with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and interim champ Ciryl Gane set to unify the title next week at UFC 270, Cormier isn’t sure if Jones would fair well against either man having not competed in almost two years.
“I believe that Jon Jones will fight at heavyweight and he’ll fight for the belt, but he’ll lose to Ciryl Gane or Francis Ngannou,” Cormier said on his ESPN show “DC & RC.” “I just think that the time away, with the weight difference, and those guys being who they are, that’s the problem. It’s not that Jones has gotten worse; it’s just that these guys are a different level of heavyweight.”
Cormier had previously said that Jones is the man to pose the biggest threat to unbeaten Gane and while he might still believe that, he doesn’t see Jones beating him.
Jones hasn’t competed since retaining his light heavyweight title in a close decision win over Dominick Reyes in February 2020. Legal issues and a contract dispute with the UFC have kept him out of action, but Cormier believes his former foe will make the walk this year.
Jones has been spending time training at Henry Cejudo’s gym Fight Ready as he targets an April or July return.