SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 12/30: Jon Jones says Cormier was never light heavyweight champion, challenges him to ‘shut me up’, and more UFC 232 post-fight press conference notes

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Dec 29, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Jon Jones (red gloves) exits the octogon after his victory over Alexander Gustafsson (not pictured) during UFC 232 at The Forum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Put up or shut up

Even though many have been calling for Jon Jones to move up to heavyweight to challenge Daniel Cormier for his heavyweight title, Jones sees no reason to make such a move and plans to stay put at light heavyweight. Jones feels that he has always been UFC light heavyweight champion, despite being stripped twice in the last four years.

“He works his hardest to try to discredit and try to de-legitimatize the fact that I beat him twice,” Jones said at the UFC 232 post-fight press conference (transcribed by MMAFighting). “And the only thing I want to de-legitimatize is his claim of being the light heavyweight champion. He was never the light heavyweight champion. He never beat me. This has been my era since 2011. I want to make that loud and clear. DC is no champ-champ. When we talk about an asterisk next to my name, there’s always gonna be an asterisk next to the idea of him being a champ-champ. The only way he can shut me up — what I’m saying right now — is to beat my ass. It’s simple.”

And despite everything that has been said over the course of their rivalry, Jones insists it’s not personal between him and Cormier and that’s why he won’t move up.

“I have no real problem DC,” he said. “I’m not gonna go to heavyweight and try to take everything from him and destroy his legacy and all that stuff. Is it possible I could do that? It is possible. But I’m fine having mine and he can have his. DC needs to admit to the people that he was never the light heavyweight champion. Or face me at light heavyweight and shut me up.”

Sunday Notebook

-Alexander Gustafsson said that he suffered a groin injury early in the first round that hindered his movement during the fight.

-Dana White said that he was speaking to Daniel Cormier during the Jones-Gustafsson fight last night. He said Cormier has been considering retirement but White thinks Cormier has “two or three” fights in him before retirement.

-Dana White also said that he “would love to see B.J. (Penn) retire,” after his first-round loss to Ryan Hall on last night’s preliminary card.

-Post-fight bonuses went to Amanda Nunes and Ryan Hall for Performance of the Night and to Alexander Volkanovski and Chad Mendes for Fight of the Night.

-UFC 232 drew 15,862 fans for a $2 million live gate on less than a week’s notice.

In case you missed it

UFC 232 Live Report

MMATorch Today Interview with Navy Seal Robert O’Neill


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