Now that Jon Jones’ USADA suspension is nearing the end, the future of the UFC light heavyweight division appears to be growing clearer.
Current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will be fighting Anthony Johnson at UFC 210 next month, and UFC president Dana White has already suggested that the next title shot will likely go to Jones. So whoever wins between Cormier and Johnson will fight Jones. Jones’ suspension ends in July, so the UFC will likely book the next title fight in the division in August or September.
The rivalry between Cormier and Jones is well known, and it’s clear that the two fighters do not like each other. Cormier said during a recent interview that he wouldn’t object if Jones ends up being the next title challenger at light heavyweight.
“Sure, whatever, I’d like to fight Jon Jones. That’s what I’ve been trying to do since 2015,” Cormier explained recently on The MMA Hour. “It’s been years, that’s all I’ve been wanting to do is get another opportunity to fight him. So yeah, sure, if you want to give him a title shot, go ahead. That’s fine. I think that, as long as that man has his affairs in order, he’ll be good to go. It’s just very hard — it’s just scary, at the end of the day. All that stuff is scary, as I’m pretty sure it’s scary to ‘Rumble’ to schedule to fight me because of the injuries. So for me, it’s just a little bit scary. Jon and I have been scheduled to fight like four times, and we’ve only fought once.”
The history between Cormier and Jones is rather extensive, to say the least. Cormier and Jones were scheduled to fight at UFC 200 last July, but that fight was pulled from the event after Jones failed a drug test for two banned substances — clomiphene, an anti-estrogenic substance, and letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor. It was bad timing as it was three days before the event. After the incident, White said that he would never take the risk of headlining a show with Jones again but now that the UFC is in the entertainment business and is only looking to book big fights that draw money, it’s likely that Jones will headline the PPV event that he fights at next. Cormier isn’t confident that White will be able to stand by his word.
“We’d all have to all have some discussions,” Cormier said. “I’m not going to fight Jones just on some card. It would have to be a certain type of card if we were going to take a co-main event type of role. But therein lies another issue.
I’ll put it out there: Jon and I will not fight in the co-main event to anyone but Conor McGregor. Right? That’s the only way that makes sense, right? So there’s the problem. Now you have a whole bunch of guys who make a whole bunch of money on one fight card. So it’s like, what’re you going to do?”
“It always has been,” Cormier said. “I said after I lost to him the first time and we were supposed to fight in , I said give me the two toughest guys the division has to offer. At that time it was (Alexander) Gustafsson and ‘Rumble.’ I’ll beat them so that I can get back to this guy. I did it in a year, and I was ready to fight in April.
Then I got the injury and everything that happened in July didn’t offer us the (chance to) fight, so I fought Anderson (Silva). I’m like, just get me back to where I need to be inside the Octagon against Jones. That’s really what it all leads to. And the truth is, now it’s about my legacy too. Title defenses, wins with being the champion, that all matters to me. So, it’s all part of the journey, but at the end of the day, I do want to get back to Jones.”