Daniel Cormier says the time for Jon Jones to become UFC heavyweight champion has come and gone. Cormier, who fought Jones in 2015 and 2017 grudge matches, expects heavyweight like Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane to give Jones more than he can handle.
Cormier, a former UFC champion at heavyweight and light-heavyweight, shared his 2022 predictions on ESPN'S "DC & RC" podcast. The retired Olympic freestyle wrestler believes Jones will eventually journey to the land of heavyweight titans, but that is where the road ends.
"I believe that Jon Jones will fight at heavyweight, and he'll fight for the belt, but he'll lose to Ciryl Gane or Francis Ngannou," said Cormier (h/t MMA Fighting). "And I just think that the time away, with the weight difference and those guys being who they are, that's the problem.
"It's not that Jones has gotten worse – it's just that these guys are a different level of heavyweight."
UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou and interim heavyweight champion Gane will unify their titles at UFC 270, taking place inside the Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, Jan. 22. Jones (26-1, 1 NC) vacated the UFC light heavyweight title on August 17, 2020, in preparation for his heavyweight debut. He has not competed in MMA since a controversial decision win over Dominick Reyes in Feb. 2020.
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