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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 8 April, 2020

'Daddy's home, DC' - Jones taunts Cormier but rules out heavyweight title bid

Light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones is eyeing a third clash with Daniel Cormier after regaining the belt.

Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier facing off in 2015 ahead of their first fight. Source: Neil Davidson

JON JONES CALLED out Daniel Cormier after claiming the UFC light-heavyweight title relinquished by the former champion.

The returning Jones (23-1), fighting for the first time since July 2017, took the championship by beating Alexander Gustafsson by TKO in the third round on his return from a drugs ban in Los Angeles last night.

Cormier had given up his belt ahead of UFC 232, refusing to be stripped of the title as he explained: “I am not going to be stripped of the belt that I’ve defended with my all for three and a half years.”

But Jones, who has faced Cormier twice before, was not impressed with that decision and has challenged the 39-year-old to respond in a third match-up.

“Man, I know there’s a guy who’s been calling himself champ-champ,” Jones said in the octagon. “What guy just gives up his belt because somebody else made it home? Daddy’s home, DC.

“Prove to the fans you’re a champ-champ. Come get a taste. I’m here. Get your belt back — it’ll be waiting right here.”

Source: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship/YouTube

Jones defeated Cormier in both of their previous bouts, although the second result was overturned after the victor tested positive for the banned substance turinabol.

Cormier remains the defending champion at heavyweight, but Jones is not interested in stepping up to become a two-weight strap-holder.

“Me going to heavyweight would be making it extremely personal and, for me, I have no problem with DC,” he explained in a news conference.

UFC 232 was moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles due to a trace of turinabol being discovered in a test administered to Jones earlier this month. The Nevada State Athletic Commission subsequently couldn’t clear Jones in time to fight Gustafsson, forcing a change of venue.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said the small amount was from Jones’ “prior exposure for which he was previously sanctioned”. He has denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing substances.

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