Jon Jones - Photo by Mazdak Cavian/MMAnytt

Jon Jones explains why he didn’t rip Daniel Cormier after their fight at UFC 214

Jon Jones didn’t feel a need to kick a man when he was down.

Despite having one of the most heated rivalries in the history of the sport, Jones honored Daniel Cormier in the immediate aftermath of their fight at UFC 214 last month rather than insulting him.

That wasn’t the case the last time when they fought as Jones and Cormier were just as heated after the final bell as they were at the start of the opening round, but the bout at UFC 214 seemed like closure.

Jones finished Cormier with a head kick followed by a barrage of punches and elbows to put a stamp on his performance to become light heavyweight champion again.

Now Jones says for all the bad words he shared with Cormier over the years, he’s putting their rivalry to rest and says that the former champion should be honored for what he’s done inside and outside the Octagon.

“Daniel, for the most part, he’s a fierce competitor. A pretty good individual, stand up athlete, stand up champion and I know how important our fight was for him,” Jones told “Good Morning America” on Monday. “It was a legacy fight for him and I just didn’t want a win or a loss to determine his legacy.

“I wanted people to see him for the guy he actually was outside the Octagon. I think that’s equally as important. So I just thought I’d shine some light on who he was and it was just.”

Jones was humble and gracious in victory while paying tribute to Cormier after the fight and it appears that will continue as he moves forward in his career.

By all accounts, Jones has officially put Cormier into the rear view mirror as he begins thinking about his next challenge in the UFC.

While speculation continues to run rampant that Jones will eventually land a fight with former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, it’s highly unlikely that matchup will happen any time soon.

Lesnar remains under contract to WWE and he still has time left to serve on a one-year suspension after testing positive for a banned substance last year. Add to that, Lesnar would have to re-enter the UFC’s drug testing program for at least six months before returning to fight.

With that said, Jones is still definitely interested in fighting Lensar but he knows that probably won’t be his next fight as he’s still awaiting word on who will challenge for his light heavyweight title when he returns to action.

“I think it may be a while before Brock Lesnar is eligible to fight,” Jones said. “Right now, I’m just waiting to hear from the UFC, some different ideas outside of him.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.