The sight of former dominant light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones packing on muscle to his lean frame as part of an intense strength program will no doubt strike fear into the heart of many of the division’s other top contenders, but current title holder Daniel Cormier sees things a little differently.
In fact, Cormier believes that Jones impressive new physique could prove to be more of a hindrance than a help inside the Octagon.
“Maybe he feels that by getting stronger, it’s going to make him a better fighter,” Cormier stated on The MMA Hour show with Ariel Helwani. “The reality is, when I saw him getting so bulky, as a competitor, I thought, ‘Wow, this isn’t bad for me.’ This isn’t bad for me as a competitor, because the Jon Jones that was kind of skinny and maybe wasn’t the bulkiest guy, it all worked, Helwani. It all worked. His body, the way his body was, it worked.”
“It allowed him for range; it allowed him for optimal speed. It allowed him for quickness and agility. Looking at all the extra bulk, to me I was like, ‘Well, maybe this will slow him down. Maybe he won’t be the fastest guy. Maybe this guy is messing with what was given to him.’ In reality, what has been given to him is perfect.”
Jones, who defeated Cormier at the start of the year before being stripped of his title following a hit-and-run incident, was quick to respond to his rivals comments, assuring him that he’s got everything under control.
“If you honestly think transforming 10lbs of fat into muscle will slow me down you’re sadly mistaken,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “We are going to see how slow I am when I foot sweep you on your ass again.
“I appreciate your concerns DC. Trust that I’m surrounded by professionals, we are not naïve. DC tries to get me double guessing my physical strength but fails to mention how he’s going to deal with my mental.”