The UFC is looking to schedule a light heavyweight title fight between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones in July as long as Jones is ready and willing to take the fight. Jones’ one-year suspension for a failed drug test is scheduled to end in July and UFC president Dana White stated that an immediate path to reclaim the title he never lost inside of the Octagon is available to him.
“If Jon Jones is ready to fight [by UFC 214] on July 29, we’ll see the Jones versus Cormier rematch, finally,” White told ESPN.com.
Ideally, a fight of this magnitude would be perfect for UFC 213 on July 8 during International Fight Week, which has regularly been one of the biggest cards of the year. However, with Jones’ suspension ending during that first week, there likely won’t be enough time to promote the fight. However, White is willing to put the fight on the July 29 pay-per-view in Anaheim.
While Cormier is more than willing to accept the fight, it will be up to Jones to decide if he wants to take another fight prior to facing the current champion or go right into a rematch with Cormier.
Jones defended the light heavyweight title when he defeated Cormier at UFC 182 in January 2015. Later that year, the UFC stripped Jones of the title for disciplinary reasons stemming from a hit-and-run incident that he was involved in. Cormier would gain the vacated title at UFC 187 when he submitted Anthony Johnson. Jones and Cormier were scheduled to meet at UFC 197 last April but Cormier was forced out with an injury. The bout was rescheduled for UFC 200 but Jones was flagged by USADA just days before the event and was pulled from the card and subsequently suspended for a failed drug test.
The rivalry between the two has only heated up since they last met in the Octagon.
Should Jones pass on an immediate title fight, Cormier would instead face Jimi Manuwa at UFC 213 on July 8. The two have engaged in a heated back and forth on Twitter with Cormier stating that he’s accepted a fight with Manuwa.
“Jimi wants Cormier,” White said. “They got into it at UFC 210 and Jimi told me he’s never been talked to like that before. We’ll see how this plays out.”
It’s hard to believe that Jones would pass up on the opportunity to regain his title. But considering that he has only fought once in the past two years, it is possible that he take a tune up fight in preparation for Cormier.