Following his one-sided victory over Dion Staring
at Strikeforce’s final event last Saturday, Daniel
made his UFC intentions perfectly clear.
First calling out former UFC heavyweight king Frank Mir for
an April 20 showdown at
UFC on Fox 7, Cormier next turned his attention to light
heavyweight ruler Jon Jones.
“I’m going to let Jon defend his belt on April 27, and then I’m
going to kick his ass in the fall,” Cormier said.
Responding to the comment on Tuesday’s episode of “UFC Tonight,”
Jones said he welcomed a meeting with the 238-pound American
Kickboxing Academy standout, who would need to cut down to the
205-pound light heavyweight limit in order to challenge “Bones” for
“I think the guy is a tremendous athlete, and I wish he would just
do it and stop talking about it,” said Jones. “I’m open to fighting
the best guys in the world. That’s why I’m here.”
Prior to any meeting with Cormier, however, Jones must first deal
with former two-time middleweight title contender Chael
Sonnen, who returns to light heavyweight for the first time
since 2005 to challenge Jones at UFC
Sonnen made headlines last fall for offering to take a short-notice
fight with Jones at UFC 151 after Jones’ original opponent,
Henderson, pulled out of the main event due to a knee injury.
Though the card was ultimately canceled after Jones declined the
last-minute pairing, the resulting fallout prompted the UFC to cast
the men as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17,
which debuts Jan. 22 on FX.
Though Jones says his initial impression of Sonnen was a negative
one, his opinion of the verbose veteran was altered after spending
time with his opponent during the filming of “TUF 17.”
“I realized that Chael is really good at putting on an act, and
when he’s not acting, he’s actually a pretty solid individual,”
said Jones. “I’m glad I did have this time with Chael, because my
thoughts of him were pretty brutal before. He’s redeemed himself a
little bit with me.”
As for the 42-year-old Henderson, Jones believes the former
two-division Pride pacesetter still deserves to be included in the
UFC title discussion. Henderson returns to the Octagon on Feb. 23
at UFC 157, squaring off with former champion Lyoto
Machida a co-main event that likely holds serious title
implications for both men.
“I would love it for Dan Henderson to get back into title
contention. I don’t think he ever really left title contention. He
just had an injury,” said Jones. “With the momentum that he has had
going for him, I think it’s only fair to give him a shot at the
title. Me and him have unfinished business. Ultimately, that’s up
to Dana [White] and those guys, but [Henderson] has my OK to be in
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