As Daniel Cormier nears the end of his career, he can look back on his accomplishments with satisfaction — even if he never faces Jon Jones again.
While there remains a possibility that the two rivals square off for a third time in the near future, Cormier believes that Jones needs the fight more than he does.
“For what I’ve done, winning the heavyweight title, everything was so tied to him [Jones] initially that me getting the heavyweight title was something so completely separate, especially being that I was undefeated in the weight class prior,” Cormier told UFC.com. “Going up into a weight that was always thought to be my weight class, winning the UFC title, it helped me.
“I think for Jones to truly get back everything that he’s lost, it would be good for him and I to fight again. For me, I’ve established my career outside of him. He’s done things outside of me, too, but for him, it would be good if he got to fight me again.”
Jones returned from his most recent USADA suspension to claimed the light heavyweight crown vacated by Cormier with a stoppage of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on Dec. 29. “Bones” will make a quick turnaround for a title defense against Anthony Smith at UFC 235 on March 2. Still, Jones and Cormier have gone back and forth on social media, and Jones continues to deny that “DC” is the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport without a victory against him.
But after becoming one of the few simultaneous two-division champions in promotion history in 2018, “DC” feels secure with his legacy and his status. While Jones re-entered Sherdog.com’s pound-for-pound rankings at No. 1 following his victory over Gustafsson, other polls still have Cormier at the top. The American Kickboxing Academy stalwart says his No. 1 spot is justified because of his success in two separate weight classes.
“It feels great,” Cormier said. “Even when they keep releasing the pound-for-pound rankings and I’m ranked above him and he goes, ‘That’s BS,’ absolutely not. You are a great fighter, but you’re a great fighter at the weight class you’ve always stayed at. I’ve done it in multiple weight classes and pound-for-pound says it’s a fighting style that translates across weight classes, and I’ve been the champion in two of them. So I think I am the definition of pound-for-pound.”