UFC President Dana White: If Jones is ready late July, he’ll fight Daniel Cormier
UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com in a recent interview that if Jon Jones is ready by mid-summer, MMA fans will finally get to see a Cormier-Jones rematch for the light heavyweight title. The date being shot for as of now is July 29, at UFC 214.
Most MMA fans have anticipated that former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones would be given an immediate title shot upon returning to the UFC. That situation has just become a bit more understandable.
UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com on Monday that the organization is willing to grant Jones an immediate title rematch against current light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier at UFC 214, so long as Jones is ready by the July 29 pay-per-view (PPV) event in Anaheim, California.
Jones is currently serving a one-year suspension for a failed drug test and is not eligible to return until the second week of July.
“Cormier is available to fight on July 8, but that time-frame doesn’t work for Jon Jones. Cormier already told me he’s willing to fight either Jones or (Jimi) Manuwa. If Jon Jones is ready to fight (by UFC 214) on July 29, we’ll see the Jones versus Cormier rematch finally.”
-UFC President Dana White, speaking about Daniel Cormier’s next title defense.
White noted that if Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) is not ready in time for his return to the octagon, the UFC would be willing to give Jimi Manuwa a fight with Cormier, perhaps at UFC 213 on July 8 in Las Vegas.
After finishing Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson at UFC 210 earlier in the month, Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and Manuwa (17-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) have gone at each other’s throats on Twitter as the ‘Poster Boy’ relentlessly calls out Cormier and makes a push for his shot at the belt. Jones, in the meantime, was in attendance at UFC 210 and had a few words for Cormier, shaming ‘DC’ for the weigh-in debacle and advising him to “enjoy his last moments with the belt.”
Jones vanquished Cormier in January 2015 at UFC 182 via unanimous decision, preserving his title and handing Cormier his only career loss. That same year, the UFC stripped Jones of the belt for punitive reasons, inspiring a contest between Cormier and Johnson for the vacant title at UFC 187. Cormier and Jones were set to headline UFC 200 last July, however Jones failed a drug test in the weeks preceding the bout over sexual enhancement pills. As a result, Jones received a one-year suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
If Cormier-Jones 2 happens at UFC 214, no word on where the matchup would fall on the card. Dana white has expressed concerns over Jon Jones headlining an event given recent history.
Who else is excited about a possible Cormier-Jones rematch?