When Daniel Cormier pulled out of the main event of UFC 197 with an injury, former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones reacted in a positive way on social media stating that he does not wish injuries on anyone and hoped that Cormier had a healthy recovery.
I don't wish injuries on anyone, I hope you have a healthy recovery Daniel. Enjoy that belt
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) April 2, 2016
However it looks like Jones has changed his stance on Cormier’s withdrawal from the contest when appearing on the MMA Hour on Monday with Ariel Helwani. When asked how he felt when he heard about the fallout of the main event, Jones said the following:
‘You know, it hurt. At first I had a feeling of sadness because of how hard me and my coaches have been working because everything that I had been doing was to beat ‘DC’. Every position, every move, every zig and every zag was for Cormier. I am sure my coaches were excited to have a champion in the gym again. For some who are new in my life in terms of coaches, I would have been the first world champion that they had trained and I was just excited to make a lot of people proud. I was more sad for the people around me than I was for myself.’
Asked about if winning the interim title would mean anything after being the champion previously and having the belt removed due to legal issues, Jones said initially it didn’t mean anything:
At first it didn’t mean anything, in my heart I know I am champion. The things I have been able to do in my career, if I were to never fight again in my career, I would be able to tell my grandkids that that I was and am the champion. So when I was offered the interim title, it really didn’t do much for me, I want the actual belt back — that was my first initial feeling.
Then I started to think about it and I thought you know what, it will make a lot of people proud and it will give me something positive and I am grateful for that.
Earlier on in the show, Helwani asked Jones’ thoughts on Daniel Cormier inviting Ovince St. Preux to AKA in California to help ‘OSP’ to train and beat ‘Bones’ which Jones did not react kindly to.
Daniel [Cormier] is an absolute coward who will never beat me and I say that, not from an arrogant place, but I say that from a place where getting my belt back means everything to me.
UFC 197: Jones vs. Saint Preux will be held on April 23, 2016 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.