Heavyweight champion Jones (27-1 MMA, 21-1 UFC) makes his first title defense against Stipe Miocic (20-4 MMA, 14-4 UFC) in the UFC 295 headliner on Nov. 11 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Chomping at the bit for their shot at gold are rising contenders Tom Aspinall, and Serghei Pavlovich, who will serve as the official backup for Jones vs. Miocic. But Cormier says Jones doesn’t think he has much to gain in these fights.
“My profile was much bigger after (our) interactions,” Cormier said on Jones on his YouTube channel. “Then Stipe Miocic was bigger after him and I went through our trilogy. It really does kind of follow that same formula, where once you fight a guy that’s established, your status kind of grows. Jon Jones could elevate those guys, but why?”
Jones’ best performances in his light heavyweight title reign came over the likes of Cormier, Quinton Jackson, and Rashad Evans. But once he started taking on lesser established names such as Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes, Jones’ performances fell flat.
“Bones” recently said Aspinall and Pavlovich wouldn’t make too much business sense, but Cormier disagrees.
“See, the difference is this: … I was 35 the first time I fought Jones, but he was already the man,” Cormier said. “‘Rampage’ was in his 30s when he fought Jones. Rashad was in his 30s, I was in my mid-30s. Everybody was in their 30s until he got to guys like Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, Reyes – and Jones was kind of like, ‘Eh, those guys don’t get me excited. I went from fighting all these legends to fighting these young guys who don’t really get the juices pumping.’
“But in this one, he says about Aspinall and Sergei, who would absolutely get the juices pumping, he just isn’t interested because now, he’s weighing the business vs. the actual competition. To me, I feel like Jon Jones in a headliner, it doesn’t really change much in regards to who he’s fighting. He did over 700,000 buys against Ciryl Gane. He would probably do 700,000 buys against Tom Aspinall, he’d do 700,000 against Sergei Pavlovich. So what is he saying? He just doesn’t want to fight those young, hard-punching, hard-charging guys?”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 295.