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Daniel Cormier responds to Jon Jones ‘allowing’ him to call UFC 285: ‘I don’t really need permission’

See what “DC” had to say about “Bones” giving him the thumbs up to commentate at UFC 285, when Jones makes his Heavyweight debut for the vacant title against Ciryl Gane.

UFC Summer Kickoff Press Conference Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Jon Jones returns to action at UFC 285, which takes place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 4, 2023, when he fights Ciryl Gane for the promotion’s vacant Heavyweight title.

Calling the stateside pay-per-view (PPV) main event will more thank likely be his former nemesis, Daniel Cormier, and according to “Bones,” that’s totally cool with him.

Jones sent out several tweets earlier this week addressing the awkward position it put the company in to have a man he had a bitter rivalry with calling his fight. And now Cormier is responding to Jones’ words, even though he isn’t 100 percent sure they were offered in sincerity.

“Jon Jones gives me permission to call his fight, tweeting, ‘DC you are more than welcome to commentate at my fight,’” Cormier said in a new video on his YouTube channel. “‘I think you’re really good at what you do, I trust that you will be non-biased, all the best brother.’

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“Now you guys know our history and you guys know how I feel about Jones, and how we have felt about each other in the past,” Cormier continued. “But, it leads me to this question: How do I take this? This particular tweet, which at times feels like a compliment, but also could be interpreted as a bit of a dig considering at times, people call me biased in my commentary and all this other stuff.

“First, guys, just for the record: I don’t really need permission to call someone’s fight. I’m not going to call [UFC producer] Craig Borsari and say ‘Hey Jon Jones said it’s okay for me to call the fight, so you guys can put me on the card.’ But I’ll be honest with you, it’s kind of nice hearing a fighter acknowledge that even with our history, he believes that I can do him justice. And do the job fairly. Because I’ve done it before. And I’ve done it at a time when he and I were at the height of our engagements, of our rivalry, of our fighting, when I called the Ovince Saint-Preux fight.”

That fight was at UFC 197 in April 2016, smack dab in the middle of Cormier’s two fights with Jones. At UFC 182 four months earlier, Jones and “DC” went to a hard-fought, five-round decision that Jones won 49-46 on all three judges’ scorecards. A second fight was scheduled for UFC 200, but fell apart when Jones tested positive for steroids.

So, Cormier isn’t joking when he says his last Jones commentary gig was right in the thick of things.

“I thought I did him justice,” Cormier said. “At the end of the fight he flipped me off when he left the Octagon. Obviously, like I said, we were at the height of our rivalry. He even said after the fight ‘I don’t know what he said, but I imagine it wasn’t very nice.’ It seems now that Jones is maturing. He seems to be taking a much different approach to the build to the fight and how he’s approaching everything. But it feels nice for him to acknowledge, ‘I think this guy could do me justice. Even with everything.’ But I don’t know why, considering I felt like I did him justice in the first fight.

“I’m a professional. I have to be able to do the job,” he continued. “I don’t know that Jon Jones and I sit for an interview. I don’t know that we sit for a fighter’s meeting. I don’t know. I can’t answer those questions for you just yet because I don’t know. But I do know that I as a man can acknowledge it’s cool that he recognizes that I’m a professional.”

Cormier finished by expanding more on the idea that Jones might just be jerking him around, as the G.O.A.T. contender has done in the past.

“Do I take this thing tongue-in-cheek?” “DC” asked. “Do I take this thing in the way all our interactions have been prior to this? Maybe. I don’t know. But we get to see Jon Jones back in three weeks and that’s the question: who do we see return to the Octagon? Do we see the guy who ran roughshod over the light heavyweight division? Or do we see a 35-year-old man who’s moving up a weight division? Three weeks.”

UFC 285 will also feature a women’s Flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso, as well as a Welterweight contenders match between Geoff Neal and Shavkat Rakhmonov. Hot prospect and amateur wrestling juggernaut, Bo Nickal, also makes his official UFC debut against Jamie Pickett.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 285 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 285: “Jones vs. Gane” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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