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Daniel Cormier doesn't believe Jon Jones should be ESPY Best Fighter

Daniel Cormier believes Jon Jones does not deserve an ESPY this year.

This year, Jon Jones, alongside Leon Edwards, Islam Makhachev, and Amanda Nunes, are ESPN’s nominees for the Best Fighter ESPY, with the winner being announced on July 12 in Los Angeles. The award covers from July 2022 to July 2023, and of the four nominees, Jones is the only one who has not competed multiple times; he earned a lone win over Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight title in March.

The win made Jones a two-division champion and came after a three year layoff, which was undoubtedly impressive. But according to Cormier, it was not exactly on par with the other contenders.

“I just don’t know if one fight in the year against Ciryl Gane puts you in that position,” Cormier said on DC & RC. “And that’s no knock on Ciryl. It was just one fight. You gotta think of the storylines that follow these other athletes. From Makhachev beating [Charles Oliveira] to win the belt, from Makhachev beating Alexander Volkanovski...

“Then you look at Amanda losing her belt to Julianna [Peña] and then winning it back. Then Leon Edwards doing what he did. Let me tell you something, Jon Jones is in there ... because Jon Jones is the biggest star. He’s the biggest star that’s holding a championship right now outside of Israel Adesanya. That’s why he’s in there. What’s crazy about it is, he might win it because of him being the biggest star of the people in there.

“I agree that the other three should be in there. I think Jones needed one more performance to find himself in the running for an ESPY, if we’re being completely fair. The storyline just doesn’t add up.”

Cormier and Jones have a long and sordid history with one another. However, in recent years the two have set their personal enmities aside. So perhaps with that in mind, the former two-division champ went on to clarify that his statements weren’t meant in opposition to Jones in general – just a belief that other champions deserved the nomination more.


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