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Daniel Cormier: If that was the new Jon Jones at UFC 197, no way this guy beats me

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Esther Lin via MMA Fighting

Jon Jones made a triumphant return to the Octagon after over a year-long layoff last night (Sat., April 23, 2016) by defeating Ovince Saint Preux to capture the interim Light Heavyweight title in Las Vegas, Nevada.

See it again here.

Most, though, weren't too impressed with Jon's performance, as he was taken the distance by a man who took the fight on three weeks notice because of this. Among the ones not wowed by "Bones" was his original opponent, Daniel Cormier, who said on FOX Sports 1's post-fight show that if that's the "new" Jon Jones, then he has nothing to worry about when they rematch.

His words:

"He got the job done. A lot of times, most guys, they don't have their best performance, they lose. They don't get it done. So it shows how special Jon is. That being said, very disappointed that I didn't get to compete tonight because I do believe that if he showed up in the form that he did tonight, or if this is the new Jon Jones, there's no way that guy can beat me."

Dana White agrees with you, "DC."

Furthermore, Jones tells "Bones" to leave the "garbage" interim title at home when they square off:

"Don't bring that interim belt. You leave that at home. That's garbage. That's a play belt. They got that thing from the kiosk upstairs before they gave that to you in the middle of the Octagon. Leave that thing at home, Jon. Come chase this real title, and get beat, and I'll ship you back to Albuquerque."

Of course, Jones says his performance was stifled a bit by the last-minute switch in opponent and declared that ring rust wasn't a factor in his fight against "OSP." In fact, Jones says had he and Daniel duked it out last night, he would've beat him up pretty good.

As for when the two can expect to settle their differences, Cormier says he will visit his doctor tomorrow and if all goes well, he should be able to take on "Bones" in the main event of UFC 200 on July 9, 2016.

"I go to the doctor on Monday. I feel much better already. I did the stem cell (treatment) and I'm able to walk good now. I feel like I can be healthy for anytime. UFC 200 needs a main event. (If) the doctor gives me the go-ahead, I'll be ready to go. Let's get this guy back in the octagon. Let's go. I want nothing more than to fight this guy every day of the week."

Of course, the coveted headlinging spot for the monumental pay-per-view (PPV) event was left vacant after UFC Featherweight champion Conor McGregor refused to leave Iceland to attend a press conference to promote his rematch against Nate Diaz.

One man's loss is another's gain.

For complete UFC 197: "Jones vs. Saint Preux" results, including play-by-play updates and much more, click here and here.