UFC 200 is just another fight for Jones, hatred for Cormier fadingGet the Full StoryIt s just a fight for me at this point, to be honest, Jones said of his grudge match with Cormier at UFC 200. The rivalry between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier may have peaked. For years, both men have traded insults in interviews and on social media, taunting face-to-face at weigh-ins, staredowns, and even inside the Octagon.
UFC 182, which saw both men battle for the light heavyweight championship in 2015, only seemed to intensify things. Jones walked away victorious, retaining his belt for the eighth time and mocking 'DC' in the process. 'Bones', however, was soon stripped of the title after a hit-and-run incident in April, last year and Cormier was crowned the new champion after submitting Anthony Johnson at UFC 187.
Cormier earned his championship accolades by defending the title in a back-and-forth war against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192, while Jones was reinstated to the roster and ready to reclaim his throne.
Jones vs. Cormier II was expected to take place at UFC 197, but Cormier was forced to pull out of the bout with a foot injury. Instead, 'Bones' took on late-replacement Ovince Saint Preux in the new main event and walked home with the interim 205-pound title.
The two light heavyweights will now headline UFC 200, and Jones is all but burnt-out with the trash talk.
"It's just a fight for me at this point, to be honest," Jones told MMAjunkie. "Obviously I don't want to lose to anybody, and I've got a lot on the line. But as far as the genuine hatred and things like that, you know, it's not as powerful as it was before.
"I'm still motivated, and I'm excited to stick a foot in DC's ass, but the hatred and all the extra is not really there for me."
Jones, who was one of MMA's most controversial figures last year, says he has found other motivations to help him prepare for the rematch.
"I feel like I have enough to fight for: My redemption story, my legacy, getting my belt back - those things motivate me and inspire me," Jones said. "Hatred for DC, it really doesn't give me that much more at this point. I had a fight with Ovince Saint Preux, and we were extremely respectful to other, and I still got there and did my job.
"There's been guys in the past, Lyoto Machida and Glover Teixeira, guys who I have absolutely no problem with, and I still go out there and do my job, so I've never been a guy who actually needed the drama. I just know that it's entertaining for the fans, and every once in a while it give you that little extra push. But even without that little extra, I'm still extremely hard-working. That's why I've never lost."
UFC 200, which will feature Jones vs. Cormier II in the main event, takes places at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 9.