In the days leading up to UFC 197, Jon Jones praised a new workout regimen that he said made him a stronger, better athlete.
During his lengthy hiatus, Jones hit the weight room in earnest and bulked up to 240 pounds before shedding some of that excess size in preparation for his return to the Octagon last weekend. Jones wasn’t as dominant as expected in taking a unanimous verdict against short notice foe Ovince St. Preux, and according to MMAJunkie.com, trainer Greg Jackson dropped this gem in his fighter’s corner shortly after the bout’s conclusion:
“Powerlifting’s a problem. He gasses. I only want to do an I-told-you-so dance right now.”
At a press conference in New York on Wednesday to promote his rematch with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200, Jones denied that his workout routine adversely affected his performance against St. Preux.
“I disagree with it. I felt great. If you realize I had the same pace going the whole fight. I really didn’t do too much. I did just enough to win the fight,” Jones said. “I started off in the fight pretty slow. Every round of the fight was a consistent speed, so it was never an issue with cardio.”
The Jackson-Wink MMA standout will be facing on entirely different skill set in the Octagon come July 9 in Las Vegas. Where St. Preux was a rangy, powerful striker, Cormier is a compact wrestler who is much smaller than his rival.
Jones won a clear-cut unanimous decision over Cormier in their first meeting at UFC 182, but the American Kickboxing Academy product was not impressed with “Bones’” comeback fight against St. Preux.
“We all saw your bum ass fighting on Saturday. If you show up like that, I’m gonna beat that ass,” Cormier said. “I saw you struggle with Ovince St. Preux. You show up like that bum, I’m gonna whip that ass bum. You’re a bum.”
Since that loss to Jones, Cormier captured the vacant heavyweight strap with a third-round submission of Anthony Johnson at UFC 187. He successfully defended the title at UFC 192, taking a hard-fought split decision over Alexander Gustafsson in October.
Jones has no issue with Cormier feeling good about himself. However, he would like to point out that there is one key item missing from Cormier’s UFC resume.
“DC should have a lot of confidence. Outside of me he’s the next best thing,” Jones said. “He can beat these other guys; he can’t beat me. I don’t believe greatness is coincidence. And I don’t believe DC is great. If he was great he would have beaten Cael Sanderson in college. If he was great he would have made weight at the Olympics. If he was great he would have beat me the first time. I’ve never lost a fight.
“Let him be confident. He can beat these other guys all day. He’s not beating me.”