January 19, 2023 8:45 am ET
Jon Jones welcomes Daniel Cormier as a commentator for his next fight.
After heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou parted ways with the UFC, Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) returns from a three-year long layoff to face Ciryl Gane (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) for the vacant title in the UFC 285 headliner March 4.
Likely to be in the broadcast booth for his fight is his former foe and rival Cormier, whom Jones defeated twice, though his win at UFC 214 was ruled a no contest after Jones failed a drug test. Jones is looking to mirror Cormier’s success as a two-division champion, but the former light heavyweight king says their rivalry no longer plays a role in his career.
“I’m not competing against Daniel Cormier,” Jones said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “I’ve already beat him twice. I’m really happy for Daniel Cormier. I love what he’s done in his life with his wrestling and broadcasting. I think it’s awesome when a fighter can retire and use his voice and intelligence to do something that he loves, so I’ve got nothing but respect for Daniel Cormier.”
UFC 285 will not mark the first time Cormier is behind the desk for a Jones fight. Cormier commentated Jones’ win over Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197, but both were active fighters at the time. Jones, who flipped off Cormier on his way out of the octagon, already had beaten him once at that point and later ran things back with him at UFC 214.