Despite all of their hatred toward each other, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier do share a mutual respect when it comes to their respective skills inside the Octagon ... for the most part.
That said, while "Bones" is quick to acknowledge "DC's" combat abilities, the former Light Heavyweight champion says at the end of the day, Cormier will always be second best as long as he's around. Because as history has shown, Cormier is great when he fights other people, but when he's face-to-face with Jones, it's an entirely different story.
Speaking during today's UFC 200 press conference (video replay here) in New York, N.Y., Jones took the time to compliment Cormier while throwing shade at his past failures.
"'DC' should have a lot of confidence. Outside of me he is the next best thing. He can beat these other guys, but he can't bet me. You know, 'DC,' I don't believe greatness is coincidence and I don't believe he is great. If he was great he would've beaten Cael Sanderson in college. If he was great he would have made weight at the Olympics. If he was great he would've beat me the first time. I've never lost a fight. Let him be confident, he can beat these other guys all day, but he is not beating me."
Jones returned to action following a 15-month sit on the sidelines last week with a win over Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 in Las Vegas, Nevada (see it again here). And though it wasn't exactly a Jones-like performance, he did manage to walk away with a unanimous decision win and an interim title (which he refused to accept).
But, "Bones" is confident the cobwebs are now off, warning fight fans to prepare for much more when he attempts to reclaim his 205-pound against Cormier in the new main event of UFC 200 on July 9, 2016, in "Sin City."
For more on that highly-anticipated rematch click here and here.