Former UFC heavyweight Daniel Cormier has some opinions on his old division coming into the beginning of next year.
Before the end of his fighting career, Daniel Cormier ruled the heavyweight division in the UFC. Now he is a UFC commentator and a fight analyst for ESPN. He is one of the best at breaking down the game and looking into the biggest storylines in the sport. Now he’s taking a look at his old division and what could be coming next at the beginning of 2023.
One of the biggest storylines of the heavyweight division going forward is the debut of Jon Jones. Jones ruled the light heavyweight division for years but now is making his move up to heavyweight. The question is, who will he fight first? He will most likely be fighting for a title in his first fight back, but there have been negotiation problems with him and with the current champion Francis Ngannou. If that fight with Ngannou does not come through there are a few other options that could be on the table, one being former champion Stipe Miocic which seems unlikely at this time, or title challenger Curtis Blaydes. However, Cormier is not too fond of the latter.
Daniel Cormier believes Curtis Blaydes is not a viable option for Jon Jones‘ heavyweight debut
Cormier is complementary of Blaydes’ skills but does not feel he is a suitable opponent for Jones. Cormier believes that Jones, because of his reputation and the amount of money he makes per fight, needs a bigger B-side. He explained all this on his YouTube channel.
” So Jones is finally set to make his UFC heavyweight debut and I imagine, it has to be a massive fight because one thing I do know about Jon Jones, he makes a ton of money. And to get him in the Octagon, he has to have an opponent that will allow for him to make the money that makes sense at the gate and on the pay-per-view side because he gets paid guys,” he said. “Jon Jones will have to stand across the Octagon from Francis Ngannou, Stipe Miocic, I don’t even know if Cyril Gane is a big enough name. So the idea that it could be Curtis Blaydes, I don’t think that makes sense at all.”
Cormier is fine with Jones facing Ngannou or Miocic but feels that Blaydes would not be the type of fight the UFC needs to make “monster” money on this fight.
“Blaydes doesn’t have the cachet to stand across the Octagon from a Jon Jones. You need that B-side, you need the other guy to bring the eyes. Because we’ve seen Jon Jones do massive numbers with guys like myself, guys like Rashad Evans,” he said. “We’ve also seen him do numbers that don’t quite match the paycheck with other guys. At this point, you can’t have that be the result at a time when we’ve waited so long for this.”
There were rumors of course that Jones would be fighting for a title in the first quarter of 2023. The hope is to be against Ngannou with a backup being Blaydes although none of these are actually official at this time. Only time will tell who makes the walk to the cage for heavyweight gold next year.