There’s little doubt that the disdain between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is ratcheting up to a whole new level just a few weeks out from their main event rematch at UFC 197.
The latest dust-up involved the referee selection for their upcoming fight after Cormier voiced concerns about Herb Dean’s appointment.
Cormier explained to the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Wednesday that he had issues with Dean allowing Jones to stall the fight against the cage in the latter rounds without the fighters being separated due to a lull in action.
After news of Cormier’s complaint landed online, Jones took to Twitter to take a swipe at the current light heavyweight champion over the perceived ‘excuse’.
Excuse of the weak: it's not that I wasn't man enough to get my back off the cage, Herb Dean allowed him to do it
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) March 24, 2016
“Excuse of the weak: it’s not that I wasn’t man enough to get my back off the cage, Herb Dean allowed him to do it,” Jones wrote on Twitter.
Jones defeated Cormier by unanimous decision in their first fight in Jan. 2015 before the upcoming rematch was scheduled for UFC 197.
Jones took exception to the complaint although Cormier is well within his rights to express concern about an official who is being assigned to work his fights.
Several years ago, former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar filed a formal complaint to prevent referee Steve Mazzagatti from working his fights in the UFC.
The commission allows fighters to voice their opinions although they are not required to heed those warnings and actually make a change to a referee or judge assignment based on a complaint.
In Cormier’s case, the commission had already assigned Dean to work the fight and while they registered his complaint on the record, the veteran referee will still act as the third man in the cage when the light heavyweight title is on the line at UFC 197.