Daniel Cormier has stepped foot inside the Octagon with current UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones on two separate occasions, coming up short to him at UFC 182 and then UFC 214.
That last defeat, though, was overturned to a “No Contest” after “Bones” failed another drug test.
Still, “DC” — despite his very bitter rivalry with Jon — knows just what makes Jones such a special fighter, which is why he doesn’t see any current 205-pounder who an offer up much of a challenge to one of the greatest fighters ever.
“Anthony Smith is a great guy but being a great guy doesn’t win you fights,” Cormier told MMAWeekly when discussing the upcoming title fight between Jones and Smith at UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I think he loses to Jones. He won that Volkan [Oezdemir] fight but to struggle that much, it’s very difficult for me because it’s going to make me say something that sounds negative about these guys but I’ve been in there with Volkan and I know that although he’s a good martial artist, there are just holes in the game that make the fight not that hard or as hard as some other fights are,” he added.
“He struggled mightily with the man and that was enough to tell me he was going to struggle when he got to the best light heavyweights and now he’s facing the best light heavyweight. I think he’s going to have a tough time.”
That said, Cormier does have his eye on a couple of up-and-coming contenders who could pose a threat to “Bones” down the road.
“The only person at the weight class to challenge him is me but there’s the young kid from Brazil [Johnny Walker], who over time could be tough. Dominick Reyes, with time he’ll be real good.”
Reyes, though, thinks he’s ready to dethrone Jones now.
At the end of the day, Cormier feels he and Jon are simply on a whole different level that puts them above and beyond everyone else in the weight class.
“Outside of [Alexander] Gustafsson, everybody else I finished on my title reign. I finished Volkan [Oezdemir], I finished “Rumble” [Anthony Johnson] twice. I finished everybody. I just think that we’re competing on a different level than a lot of these other dudes. And I don’t like saying that because it sounds like I’m disrespecting these guys but I feel like we’re competing on a different level than these other guys,” he concluded.