Aside from a 2009 disqualification loss to Matt Hamill, Jones has defeated everyone put in his way, including Cormier twice (one overturned to a no contest) in what was one of the most heated rivalries in MMA history.
The one person that has gotten the best of Jones is Jones himself as the former UFC light heavyweight champion has proven difficult to stay out of trouble with the law, which happened again last Friday. Just hours after being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame fight wing, Jones was arrested and booked into jail by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on charges of misdemeanor battery domestic violence and felony tampering with a vehicle following an alleged assault of his fiancee.
While Cormier isn’t surprised to see Jones face legal issues once again, he wishes he could have done his part to put a stop to it years ago.
He explained how during Tuesday’s episode of his ESPN show “DC & RC.”
“I said some things back in 2017 before we fought the second time,” Cormier said. “I spoke to mistakes and how when you make mistakes, they change you. Jones obviously doesn’t learn from the mistakes, but I also take a bit of responsibility because I think, in a lot of situations, you learn when you have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps. And I said on the ‘Countdown’ show before the fight, ‘the way Jon Jones makes changes is by losing to me.’ I didn’t beat him. Chael Sonnen didn’t beat him. So many people didn’t beat him. We never forced him to look in the mirror … because all his bad behavior still led to success. And so, why change it? Why change it? It’s unfortunate.”
Cormier might’ve seen this coming, but he won’t take the opportunity to gloat. He recalls seeing Jones last week at the Hall of Fame ceremony and couldn’t help but smile at the sight of him and his family. Unfortunately, Cormier was quickly reminded why he’s always had a problem with Jones.
“I remember when I saw Jones and his family on the red carpet for the Hall of Fame, I’m so removed from that rivalry that I actually felt happy for him because his little girls, they’re not babies no more,” Cormier said. “They’re growing up to be beautiful young women. He had his family with him. He was gonna be celebrated and then he goes out and does something like that to remind me why I felt so strong about disliking him, because you start hearing these things and it’s awful. It’s actually really awful, and as the details come to light, it’s actually gonna be much more terrifying to think of the emotions that’s tied to this whole thing.”
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Cormier thinks that, while Jones’ composure in the cage is unmatched, his actions outside of it are out of control. With everyone losing faith in Jones, Cormier believes Jones is the only person who can help himself.
“We have a code of conduct,” Cormier said. “We actually have a code of conduct in the UFC; it’s a matter of enforcing it. Even at the height of our rivalry when we sat in front of Joe Rogan, and we went back and forth, and we called each other names, we got very personal in regards to our relationships, our spouses and everything. I said I don’t want anything life-threatening to happen to Jon Jones regardless of what I feel about him professionally and personally. I never found pride, and I still don’t find joy in the fact that he is not able to get over whatever demons he is dealing with in this moment and he’s dealt with for so long.
“But there is a code of conduct. It’s about finding and sticking to that code of conduct. But I think his biggest problem is his rap sheet in so many different things that have happened. But when you look at Jon Jones the fighter, he’s great. I’ve never been in there with anyone more talented. He’s so smart, he can game plan, he can do things in a way that nobody else can, but it seems like outside, there is just no control.
“It’s on him to get better, and I think Dana said something so smart and so telling the other day. When he said he’s not disappointed anymore, it becomes the expectation. When bad behavior becomes the expectation, that should be the biggest wakeup call for you to get it together.”
Photos: Jon Jones through the years
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