The champ would then call out UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier for a third fight at light heavyweight, but former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold believes the call out was a way to manipulate DC.
“Jones doesn’t want that fight,” Rockhold said on The MMA Hour. “Jones does not want to fight with DC at heavyweight. He doesn’t want to give him any advantage. He’s obviously doing what he can to build his confidence to fight at light heavyweight. We all know he’s tested dirty twice in a row now. Three times? I don’t know what it is, picograms, or whatever the hell they are. He’s obviously compensating trying to do something to build himself up. DC at heavyweight is a much more dangerous fighter. He’s looser, he’s moving people. I’ve seen him in the gym. Jones picked his words wisely on the mic [at UFC 232] trying to bait DC to come back down and manipulate him back down to light heavyweight. Jones walked around 240, DC walks around at 240. Fight where you are.”
Jones and Cormier have met twice before, with Jones winning at UFC 182 and a second win by Jones at UFC 214 overturned to a no contest due to a failed drug test.
Rockhold is also giving Jones an ultimatum, either fight DC at heavyweight or fight Rockhold himself.
“You’re the baddest man on the planet? Stop trying to pick off guys like Anthony Smith and stop talking about DC, the champ champ,” said Rockhold. “Go up and fight the champ champ where’s he at and where he is the baddest man on the planet. You want to talk about it? Go up there and fight him. Otherwise, stay where you’re at and I’ll come to you.”
Cormier has yet to respond to the challenge for a third fight against Jones, while Rockhold has yet to compete at light heavyweight in the UFC.