Jones is preparing to face Ovince Saint Preux for the interim belt at UFC 197 on Saturday, after Cormier recently had to pull out due to a leg injury. Before Cormier withdrew from the scrap, he and Jones were having at it through social media and in interviews. If you’ve followed their rivalry, then you know that’s par for the course.
But, while speaking to the media recently in advance of UFC 197, Jones had this to say while discussing whether it bugs him Cormier’s the champ (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“It doesn’t really bother me,” Jones said.
“I’m really aware with everything that’s happened. I took myself out of the competition being a knucklehead and gave DC an opportunity of a lifetime to finally capture that belt. This may sound weird, but in a way I’m happy for him to have gotten a taste of the opportunity. Because outside of the fact that I don’t like him, he’s really not a bad guy. And watching him, he makes a great champion. He has a clean image. He seems like a family guy who works really hard and everything like that.”
Wow…Now, it’s not like Jones said his beef with Cormier has been completed squashed, as he did go on to say that “DC” has had the belt for “long enough”. Jones also said Cormier should be ready to “get that ass whooped”.
So, if Jones does get by OSP on Saturday and faces Cormier later this year, chances are things are going to get rather ‘tense’, once again.
Jones and Cormier battled for the first time in January, 2015, and the latter lost the bout via unanimous decision.