When in conversation with Daniel Cormier, former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones often appears imperious and acts as if his rival is a minor annoyance, barely registering with "Bones." But Jones admitted recently on the Tiki and Tierney show that his April title-rematch opponent is on his mind constantly.
"This guy consumes my mind all day long," Jones revealed.
"Everything I do has been focused on him. I’ve been thinking about this guy over a year. Every single day I think about him."
Jones has had a lot of days like that in the past two years then. The two faced off in early 2015 after a long build-up.
Jones won a close fight via decision, but has been out of the cage since then due to drug and criminal charges. The stripped former title-holder returns to the Octagon next month at UFC 197 and faces the man who took his place at the top of the 205 lbs mountain — Cormier.
Despite being obsessed with Cormier, Jones says he doesn’t actually hate the champion. Jones explained that the source of their rivalry is simply competition.
"I definitely don’t hate the guy," he clarified.
"We don’t like each other because we’re both really elite in our sport. We’re at the highest level you can get when it comes to being a UFC fighter. He’s only lost to me. I’ve never lost to anyone. So I know that he’s a capable guy [who could] possibly defeat me.
"He knows that I can defeat him because I’ve already done it. There’s just a competitiveness there that only we can bring out of each other."