Throughout his time with the UFC, interim light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has never found an equal because he’s never faced defeat.
The closest anyone came was Alexander Gustafsson taking Jones to a hard-fought and grueling five-round decision, but ultimately he still came out on top with the title belt around his waist. Even the one "loss" on Jones’ record came after he battered former "Ultimate Fighter" competitor Matt Hamill with a series of elbows that were deemed illegal and it forced him to be disqualified from the fight.
Ahead of UFC 200, Jones has heard his opponent Daniel Cormier claim to be the man destined to beat him and finally prove his mortality inside the Octagon.
But Jones doesn’t believe Cormier can sully his virtually unblemished record because no matter how the two-time Olympian envisions their rivalry, he’s simply not on the same level and never will be.
"Daniel really isn’t my biggest challenge. He’s just a part of the journey and I’m excited to beat him again and get rid of him once and for all," Jones told FOX Sports.
In his head he’d like to picture us being the (Muhammad) Ali and (Joe) Frazier, the two top dogs of this whole thing. At the end of the day, there’s only one top dog and there’s no No. 2. That’s not how being top dog works and I’m excited to prove it.
— Jon Jones
Jones has already engaged in a war of words with Cormier in the weeks and days heading toward the fight, but despite more than a few harsh exchanges, the interim champion promises nothing has gotten under his skin.
Jones knows the intensity will ratchet up this week, when he finally comes face to face with Cormier at the UFC 200 news conference as well as the weigh-ins on Friday. But he really doesn’t see any of it making a difference in the fight.
If anything, Jones is excited to finish Cormier at UFC 200 and put this rivalry behind him once and for all.
"When he’s talking about me, I feel like he’s just trying to start a fight. When he’s talking s–t, I just take it with a grain of salt. I don’t let it affect me. At the end of the day, I won the first fight and I’ve won many different arguments with him. So I don’t even have the energy to engage with him at this point. I’m just ready to kick his ass and continue on this great journey that I’ve been on," Jones said.
"I’m sure once I get in front of him during fight week it will be completely different but as of right now, being in the game for 10 years at the highest level, you know the s–t talk doesn’t really mean anything. I play the game when it’s time to play the game but at the end of the day, he’s not really worth my time."
Instead of thinking about Cormier as his equal or even his toughest challenge, Jones prefers to look at this as just another victory on his path toward immortality.
Jones is currently ranked as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and many would argue he’s already the greatest in the history of the sport.
No one wants to hold that honor more than Jones, and that’s why he’s just approaching the rematch with Cormier as another speed bump along the journey that’s far from finished.
"Honestly, everytime is a big moment. Fighting the undefeated Daniel Cormier the first time was huge cause there were those ‘X’ factors and those questions that hadn’t been answered. Every fight is really pretty huge. I’m really trying not to fight Daniel Cormier, the storyline behind Daniel Cormier, the hype, the belt, I’m not really trying to fight all that," Jones said.
"I’m staying focused on staying happy throughout my training camp. Staying focused throughout my training camp and being in the right place mentally. Just fighting Daniel Cormier’s body, not fighting the story or the rivalry or all that s–t. I’m just looking at it as another fight. Not the biggest fight of my life or the biggest fight of my legacy. No need to put that unnecessary stress on myself."