American mixed martial artist Jon Jones has to wait until mid 2017 to be allowed to enter the Octagon after he failed a drug test before the highly anticipated clash against Daniel Cormier at UFC 200.
The incident led to the fighter being handed a suspension from USADA that barred him from competing for one year.
His rivalry with Cormier is a well-known story to the UFC faithful and Jones is destined to reclaim the heavyweight title from his counterpart, which he actually did not lose in competition.
Speaking on the issue, Jones told Fox Sports on a conference call: “That would be a hell of a match but no I wouldn't want to play with Cormier at all. Me and Cormier's storyline is so big and important to me. I wouldn't want to give him any false sense of security or anything.
Cormier is a former two-time Olympian in wrestling and given the astuteness of Jones in the ring, the duo could provide one of the best fights in recent history.
But the former champion has no intentions of settling scores with his compatriot anywhere other than Octagon, however he is presently focused on the grappling match against Dan Henderson at Submission Underground 2 on Sunday – an event promoted by his former opponent and challenger Chael Sonnen.
Henderson also shares an interesting rivalry with the 29-year-old as both were supposed to fight against each other at UFC 151 in 2012.
The 46-year-old suffered a knee injury just weeks prior to the event, forcing him to pull out of the fight. Jones, on the other hand, was heavily criticised for not excepting a short notice bout from Sonnen after the declaration.
“I just want to kick his ass with my hands and feet and elbows and knees.”
The series of events still remains fresh in Jones’ memory but he admits that it was not the driving force behind agreeing for the matchup in the coming days.
“It didn't really play that much of a part, but it's all a part of the storyline now. Like I said before, I never got to compete against Dan and Dan, he's a guy who's greatly respected.
“I often get people that come up to me with the UFC 151 poster with me and Dan on it and ask me to sign it. So I know it will mean a lot to a lot of fans to be able to see this. I'm excited.”
Jones was favourite four years ago and still is the experts’ choice to be the winner against Henderson, yet, he does not demean the experience and skills of the veteran on the grappling mat.
“It's important for me. I feel like a lot of my fans hold high expectations of me when it comes to inside the Octagon — not so much outside of the Octagon — but I feel like most of my performances are pretty dominant so I don't feel like I have the luxury to not perform in an extremely impressive fashion. So I put pressure on myself and feel pressure from my fans to not only win, but to look great doing it.
“That's what I'm planning to go out there and really dominate the way I've done in mixed martial arts.”
The pound-for-pound king is aiming to get himself ready to compete against Cormier next year and he is even ready to push himself further, finding another opposition for a grappling match.
He concluded by saying: “I'd like to maybe challenge a heavyweight after this to see how I step up against a guy that's much bigger than I am. But no one in particular though. I think it would be a big seller for sure.”News Now - Sport News