The heated feud between the two top light heavyweights in the world goes back a handful of years and has only picked up steam in the interim. Outside of the pound-for-pound great Jones handily defeating the former Olympian Cormier at UFC 182 back in January 2015, there's been a hefty list of a run-ins, verbal shootouts, and fistfights in the MGM lobby for fans to latch onto while waiting for another fight.
It simply does not get more intense than the rivalry the two men share, and their bad blood will be settled once and for all at UFC 214 in Anaheim, CA, this Saturday night.
Yet, while the friction between the champion and former titleholder is certainly real and the trash-talk game they engage in is competitive, that doesn't mean the actual rematch will be similar. That's the opinion of former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen, and the "Gangster from West Linn" has strong reason to believe that.
Sonnen faced Jones inside the Octagon and has known Cormier for years outside of the fight game, but the current Bellator staple doesn't even need to rely on personal experience for his analysis. Instead, the 40-year-old focused on a few poignant keys that will ultimately make the difference in the fight.
Sonnen believes Jones will get the job done at UFC 214. Furthermore, the Oregon native is confident the 30-year-old Jones will do so in easier fashion than he did in his first collision with Cormier, 38, back in 2015.
"When a younger fighter beats an older fighter and then they rematch... the younger fighter wins again only easier," Sonnen told FloCombat. "That is the rule of fighting and holds true in boxing, wrestling or MMA. You would have to go back and search two decades to find a scenario where that didn't happen.
"There is a meaningful gap in their ages, and their first fight wasn't close. A lot of people forget that, but it was not close. I had it 5-0 to Jon Jones, and the official judges had it 4-1. It was not a competitive fight. It was fun, and Daniel tried, and by Jon Jones' standards next to [Alexander] Gustafsson it was his closest fight, but he still won by a large margin. And to make believe that with age and time Daniel caught him somehow is a big leap.
"I think it also comes down to how bad was Jon Jones violating USADA?" he added. "The guys we've seen in the past that live that life come back, and they are different and are different for the worse. Jon says he didn't do it. I think his body looks a little different, but at the same time, I bought a lot of his story. That's really the question, and we'll find out on Saturday night."