The rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 was marketed as “once and for all,” yet it now seems like a trilogy bout between the two athletes is almost inevitable.
Jones and Cormier first crossed paths back at UFC 182 in March 2015. On that night, it was Jones who successfully defended his title after winning a unanimous decision.
When the two met again at UFC 214 in July 2017, it was Cormier who was defending the light heavyweight title from Jones. Despite great work by Cormier in the early rounds, he was eventually stopped by the challenger at the 3:01 mark of the third round after a heavy head kick was followed up with strikes.
The result of that fight was later overturned to no-contest after Jones tested positive for Turinabol, a banned substance under the United States Anti-Doping Agency. With that fight scratched from UFC history, Cormier was then reinstated as light heavyweight champion.
Much has changed since 2017, however. Cormier now reigns as the champion of the heavyweight division and has since relinquished the light heavyweight title.
When asked about the possibility of a trilogy bout occurring in the future, Jones told Ariel Helwani that he has doubts whether Cormier would ever return to the light heavyweight division.
“He won’t do it,” Jones said.
“It takes a lot out of him to make that weight cut. I haven’t seen him in person, but I hear that he is bigger than ever and to lose all that weight and to come up short a third time, it takes a lot of courage, I would imagine. I just don’t think he has the balls to do it. He knows what to say to people to appear not afraid of me, but I think deep down inside, he knows what it’s like after losing to me twice: going home crying and all this… I just doubt he’s going to do that to himself again.”
Making Jones vs. Cormier happen at heavyweight
It appears that the only way that a third bout between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier could happen is if it were to be scheduled at heavyweight.
Although Jones hasn’t ruled out a potential move to heavyweight, he’s repeatedly expressed that the money has to be right for him to consider moving up and facing Cormier at a heavier weight.
In an interview with Aaron Bronsteter at the UFC Summer Press Conference event, Jones explained that a larger purse would help influence his decision.
“Yeah, I think that would help a lot,” Jones said.
“The UFC is a really successful company and they’re growing every year and I know they have the funds to make the fight happen. I want to be treated like I’m in a super fight and I know they will do that when the time comes, I know they will. I guess we’ll figure it out when the time is right.”
Jon Jones on whether Daniel Cormier needs to defeat him to cement his legacy and what it would take for him to move to heavyweight
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) July 6, 2019
As for whether that’s something that the promotion would oblige, UFC president Dana White stated that issues regarding money ‘can be fixed.’
“Jon Jones makes a lot of money,” White told Bronsteter at the UFC Summer Press Conference event.
“Listen, that’s all stuff that can be fixed. We can figure it out. It depends on what he wants.”
“But, I don’t blame him, he can stay at 205 and rule the world for a very long time probably. We’ll see how tomorrow plays out. We’ll see, he has to get through tomorrow night first.”