Following his emphatic third round technical knockout victory over former light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, the new reigning UFC Light Heavyweight titleholder Jon “Bones” Jones is finally closing the book on his long-standing rivalry with “DC” and looking forward to a new chapter of chasing the biggest fights possible.
Jones, after putting in one of the best performances of his career, gave props to Cormier. This was, of course, completely opposite of how Jones would have acted a couple of years ago. Instead, this time, Jones played it real classy and acted like a true champion.
“I want to thank Daniel Cormier for being my biggest rival and motivator… He has been a model champion,” he said. “I aspire to be a lot more like that man because he is an amazing human being.”
Tremendous respect coming from Jones. Despite the bad blood that brewed between them over the years, you can’t deny the respect they do have for one another. Jones, having had multiple out-of-the-cage mishaps, knows this is a rare second chance he gets at becoming great.
How did Jon Jones put DC away?
Surprisingly for almost three rounds, the fight never went to the ground. Cormier tried to close the distance, but Jones was just too skilled and way too many weapons for him to be successful. Jones used his long reach to pepper Cormier with straights from the outside in the southpaw stance. Constantly jabbing at Cormier’s knee joint were Jones’ infamous oblique kicks.
To be honest, Jones looked absolutely incredible in there and hardly missed a beat, despite being largely in and out of action for the past three years. It’s as if he never disappeared at all.
Cormier, as great as he is, just wasn’t on the same level as Jones. Hardly anyone in that division is. With Anthony Johnson in retirement, the only unfinished business Jones has at light heavyweight is a rematch against Alexander Gustafsson.
The third round of course saw Jones mix it up very well. As Cormier continued to anticipate knees to the body and those nasty oblique kicks, Jones lulled him into a sense of false security. That’s when Jones unleashed a head kick that started the end sequence.
After Jones had Cormier reeling, it was only a matter of closing the show from there. And Jones did exactly that, putting the finishing touches on an old, embattled rival.
What’s next for Jon Jones?
So what’s next for Jones? Well, after the fight, Jones took the time to call out one of the UFC’s biggest legends.
“Brock Lesnar, you want to know what it feels like to get your ass kicked by someone 40 pounds lighter?” Jones asked. “Meet me in the octagon.”
Jones brought up the possibility of fighting Lesnar last week during an interview. Lesnar has responded positively and is open to the match saying, “Anytime, anywhere.”
Although the actual fight is unlikely because Lesnar is serving a suspension for a previous infraction. But the fact that the two definitely want it, and that the fans want it, make the fight in the realm of the possible. Jones says he was inspired by Conor McGregor’s career trajectory, and realizes the potential in his second run at greatness.
Still, the matchup that makes sense is a rematch against Gustafsson. But of course, things don’t always go the way they should.
What do you guys think? What should Jon Jones’ next move be?