To many UFC fans, Jon Jones will remain the light heavyweight champion until someone actually beats him in the cage. As far as Daniel Cormier is concerned, however, Jones doesn’t deserve to have any gold around his waist at all. Not even the interim belt, which Jones is technically in possession of.
A quick history lesson is required here:
Jon Jones was the 205-pound champion and had already beaten Cormier once. He then managed to find himself in a number of questionable legal issues, including a hit and run accident in April 2015. Shortly after that incident, the UFC suspended him and stripped him of the title.
Cormier then won the now-vacant championship in a fight against Alexander Gustafsson. Jones eventually returned and was scheduled for a title shot at UFC 197 in April 2016, but Cormier was forced to pull out with a foot injury. Instead, Jones fought Ovince Saint Preux for the interim light heavyweight championship, which Jones won.
Cormier and Jones were then primed for a big money, main event title unification bout at UFC 200. Just days prior to the fight, Jones was removed by USADA due to a potential drug testing violation. Cormier would fight Anderson Silva in a non-title bout, but Jones technically remains the interim champ.
Dana White even said that when Jones returns (again), the UFC may have him fight current No. 1 contender Anthony “Rumble” Johnson for the interim title to determine who gets the next title shot against Cormier. Now, Cormier is publicly questioning why the UFC are letting Jones keep the belt at all.
“Now one thing I completely disagree with, completely – and I don’t care who hears it – why in the hell would Jon still be the interim champion? That makes no sense. That makes absolutely no sense,” Cormier said on Brian Stann’s “Toe-2-Toe” radio program, according to MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew. “They should not be fighting for an interim championship. That makes no sense at all. I don’t even know why he would still be the interim champion. His ass was disqualified. Take that freakin’ belt off of him. That’s stupid.
“I hope to God Dana misspoke, because that makes absolutely no sense. They aren’t fighting for some interim title if they fight. They can fight in the main event because it’s a big fight but it’s a fun fight. If they fight, they fight to determine the number one contender it’s not some interim championship fight. That makes no sense at all … You’d have an interim champion defending the interim championship while the actual champion is actually still there. That makes no sense whatsoever.”
Cormier also said he was targeting December for his next bout, although who earns the right to fight for the gold is yet to be determined.