On his YouTube channel, Bisping commented on Cormier’s recent prediction that Jones will not become heavyweight champion should he compete for that title after moving up from the light heavyweight division, where Jones is a three-time champion.
Bisping believes that his fellow UFC analyst is biased due to his personal rivalry with Jones that has gone on for years.
“Now, Jon Jones, his old rival he’s stepping up to heavyweight and he’s trying to do what ‘DC’ did and because DC doesn’t like him then maybe he’s like, ‘Nah, he’s not gonna be able to do that,’” Bisping said. “He’s saying that he’s been away from the sport for too long, two years is too long, there’s gonna be ring rust, and those two they’re a different breed of heavyweight. But let’s dissect Jon Jones a little bit here.
“We’re talking — regardless of his behavior outside of the octagon, which hasn’t been great and regardless of the steroid tests, which does change things, it’s a massive asterisk and you all know my feelings when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs — but the reality is if you look at the performances he potentially is the greatest of all time. We’re talking the longest win streak in UFC history, most title fight wins in UFC history, he never lost a fight other than a disqualification 13 years ago to Matt Hamill in a fight that he was utterly dominating but then it was a 12-6 elbow [that caused Jones to be disqualified] and he’s not even 35 yet. Plus he’s beat everybody at their own style. He would make a point of doing that. He would beat them at their very own style and as I say, he’s not even 35 yet, so there’s no way that he’s going to show up old, as we say.”
Cormier and Jones first fought in January 2015 at UFC 182, where Jones notched the eighth consecutive successful defense of his light heavyweight title with a unanimous decision win. That matchup was preceded by a tense build-up, which included a memorable press conference brawl, and there was even more controversy afterwards as it was the last defense of Jones’ first reign before he was stripped of the title following his involvement in a hit-and-run the following April.
In Jones’ absence, Cormier won a vacant title and nearly lost it back to Jones at UFC 214; however, Jones tested positive for banned substances following that bout and a knockout win over Cormier in their rematch was changed to a no contest. That resulted in the title change being voided and Cormier retaining.
Bisping made sure to emphasize Cormier’s in-cage accomplishments, including title reigns at both light heavyweight and heavyweight, but also reiterated that Cormier’s beef with Jones could influence his analysis.
“DC has also shared the octagon on two occasions with Jon Jones, so you get to know that person,” Bisping said. “You get to know them very, very well. But because he does have that history and because they don’t like one another, I believe that maybe that’s skewing the judgment of DC just a little bit here.”
“These guys don’t like each other,” Bisping added. “They are major rivals. Now I never had a rivalry like this, not somebody I hated to that degree. I had people that I didn’t like, but they shall remain nameless. Vitor Belfort, Tim Kennedy, Alan Belcher, Luke Rockhold, the list literally goes on but still, they shall remain nameless. But I didn’t have a rival to the sense that DC and Jon Jones does because as I said, it is deep with these two.”
Regarding the competitors set to face off in a heavyweight championship unification bout next weekend at UFC 270, Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, Bisping called both fighters “unbelievable” and “a different level of heavyweight.” Given that, he’s still not ready to rule out Jones as a threat to become a two-division champion.
“Jon Jones is out there,” Bisping said. “Jon Jones has a resume. Jon Jones is one of the best to ever do it, so to say that he can’t come back after this time and beat those guys, I don’t think I agree. I don’t think I agree. I’m not saying he is gonna win, but to say that he just has no chance, I don’t think that’s right.
“Because Jon, amongst everything else, is a master tactician. He’s got great grappling and he’s got the confidence. Now, the only thing is he’s putting on all this weight, he’s become a very big man, he said at the Hall of Fame — before he got arrested — that he’s around 260 pounds. That is a frightening prospect. The reality is that might slow him down just a little bit. Maybe it slows him down a lot. Maybe he’s even better. I think it will slow him down, I think it may affect his gas tank, but until he steps foot in the octagon we do not know. So Jon Jones, come back, I can’t wait to see it. Can’t wait to see the main event next week.”