Jon Jones’ GOAT status at risk in Tom Aspinall fight, says rival Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier believes that people would question Jon Jones' status as the GOAT if he lost to Tom Aspinall.


Jon Jones’ GOAT status at risk in Tom Aspinall fight, says rival Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier says Tom Aspinall is a threat to Jon Jones (via Imago)

The long-simmering rivalry between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier has reignited over the next big fight. According to Cormier, Jones is making a calculated career decision about fighting Tom Aspinall. Fans want Jones to fight Aspinall, but the heavyweight champion continues to dismiss the Brit. As such, Cormier believes Jones does not want to risk his legacy.

MMA Junkie recently interviewed Daniel Cormier. Cormier understood Jon Jones‘ perspective on honoring the fight against Stipe Miocic. However, the former two-division UFC champion believed “Bones” willfully avoided the tougher stylistic matchup with Tom Aspinall.

[If] he loses to Aspinall, people will start to question if he's that guy because that's how it works. That's how it works. It would be great [if Jones fought Aspinall]. I would love it. I understand. But, this dude right now is probably at a point in his career where he's like, 'make the most money, take the least amount of risk.'
Daniel Cormier via MMA Junkie

At the heart of the dispute is who Jones should face upon his return to the UFC heavyweight division. Jones was originally scheduled to challenge Stipe Miocic for his first title defense last year but withdrew due to injury. This paved the way for surging British talent Tom Aspinall to claim interim gold by stopping Sergei Pavlovich. Despite Aspinall’s rise, Jones remained insistent on facing the veteran Miocic first before a potential unification bout.

Cormier would know, too, having fought Jones three times during his illustrious career. He clearly saw Aspinall’s well-rounded, aggressive style as a major threat to dethrone Jones from his GOAT status. Of course, Jones maintains it’s simply about sticking to his original plan of fighting Miocic. Aspinall himself had called out Jones multiple times, but he had always declined. 

Daniel Cormier surprisingly ‘compliments’ Jon Jones

Some rivalries are not just for show and entertainment but extend beyond the octagon. The long-standing feud between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones recently took an intriguing turn. Cormier recently offered a backhanded compliment to his longtime adversary.

Daniel Cormier Jon Jones
Daniel Cormier is all praises for his former rival Jon Jones (Image Courtesy – Independent/UFC)

Cormier talked about Jones during a recent episode of Good Guy/Bad Guy with Chael Sonnen. He weighed in on Jones’ potential matchup against the formidable Alex Pereira. Cormier praised Jones for his cunning approach to selecting opponents with a touch of sarcasm.

He’s smart. If I’m an Olympic wrestler or a national champion, and I’m watching the landscape of things, valuing the money vs. the fame vs. the championships and everything else, I’m doing exactly what Jon’s doing. It’s much less risky than fighting a guy with a full skillset, that’s complete. That’s exactly what Tom Aspinall looks to be.
Daniel Cormier via The Good Guy / Bad Guy

The former champion of two UFC divisions further stated that Pereira’s prime skill is his ability to knock out his opponents, which Jones may dodge. These comments by Cormier have given an exciting insight into the mind games normally played behind the curtains in combat sports. It is yet to be known if what Cormier said is right or if Jones will choose another direction. 

In case you missed it: