Daniel Cormier Believes Jon Jones Vacated UFC Title to Avoid Dominick Reyes

By: Tristen Critchfield
Sep 29, 2020

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Shortly after Jan Blachowicz defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 253 to claim the vacant light heavyweight throne, Jon Jones dropped a hint that he might be interested in returning to the division he only recently left.

“Would you guys be annoyed if I went back and grabbed my belt real quick?” Jones wrote on Twitter.

Jones hasn’t competed since a controversial decision triumph over Reyes at UFC 247 in February. Many observers felt that Reyes deserved to win the fight, but rather than grant “The Devastator” an immediate rematch, “Bones” ultimately elected to relinquish the 205-pound belt in favor of a move to heavyweight.

Longtime rival Daniel Cormier believes that Jones only expressed interest in a return to light heavyweight because Blachowicz, not Reyes, is the new champion.

“That’s so whack,” Cormier said on ESPN. “Have you ever met a guy that’s so out of touch? He’s so out of touch. It’s like, OK, Jon, then why not just go, ‘I was afraid of Dominick Reyes. Now I want to go back to 205 and fight Jan Blachowicz because he beat Dom’? That’s crazy. I mean, who does that? Who does that?

“He could have fought Reyes. This could have been him and Reyes. This was supposed to be him and Reyes. Instead, he gave up the belt. He gave up the belt and said, ‘I want to fight at heavyweight.’ Now, ‘Maybe, I’ll go back?’ How could you be so out of touch? I don’t get it. . . That’s your boy over there kicking people while they’re down and pretty much admitting, ‘I didn’t want to fight Dominick Reyes but I’ll fight Jan Blachowicz.’ That’s crazy.”

Blachowicz didn’t look like a contender early in his UFC tenure when he lost four of his first six Octagon appearances. The 37-year-old Polish veteran has since won eight of nine bouts, culminating in his second-round TKO of Reyes on Saturday night.

While Cormier doesn’t admire Jones’ line of thinking, he understands it. “DC” sees Blachowicz as a much more favorable matchup for the Jackson-Wink MMA standout than Reyes was. Cormier, who retired earlier this year, is also confident that he would do well against the newly-crowned 205-pound king.

“If I’m Jones, I’m doing it. [Blachowicz] is too slow to beat [Jones],” Cormier said. “The thing about Jones is people don’t realize he’s got a good chin. You can hit him. I hit him. A lot of us hit him. He can take punches. If Jan Blachowicz is out there and he’s too slow, Jones will pick him apart. God, I can’t believe it. Look, if I was still fighting at 205 or if I was still fighting today and you said, ‘D.C., you can fight Jan Blachowicz,’ I’d probably fight Jan Blachowicz. No disrespect, just because I think… it’s surprising, right?

“When you have footage of people getting old victories over him, you think you can do it, too. Any fighter does. If you’re a guy like myself or Jones, then, of course, you think you can beat him. That’s why Jones will go fight him.”

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