Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones defended the title in January 2015, defeating Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision in the UFC 182 main event. “Bones” was stripped of the 205-pound-belt after defending the title a record eight times following his involvement in a felony hit-and-run accident weeks before his scheduled ninth title defense against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187.
While Jones was out of the light heavyweight picture, Cormier captured the title as a late replacement for Jones against Johnson. Jones returned to the Octagon at UFC 197 in April 2016. He defeated Ovince Saint Preux by unanimous decision to win the interim light heavyweight crown.
A rematch with Cormier was booked between the two to headline UFC 200 in July 2016 to unify the belts. Three days before the event Jones will pulled from the fight card for an anti-doping violation.
Jones returns on July 29 against Cormier in the UFC 214 main event with the title on the line. While Cormier holds the belt, Jones doesn't consider “DC” the champion.
“I know he’s a prideful guy and he considers himself a champion, but the truth is, you’re not a champion,” Jones told UFC Tonight. “You never won the NCAAs. You never won at the Olympics. You never won the UFC light heavyweight championship. And Strikeforce, I mean, who can’t win that belt?”
Jones is considered one of the greatest fighters in mixed martial arts history. He owns the accolade of the youngest fighter to win a UFC title. He holds the record for the most successful title defenses in the 205-pound division. He has the most wins of any fighter to compete in the Octagon in the light heavyweight division. The 29-year-old Jones believes Cormier wants want he's accomplished.
“Daniel is a guy who wants, he wants what I have. And I know that sounds weird because he has the belt, but he wants what I have,” said the former champion. “He wants to be known as the guy and he’s simply not no matter what he tries to tell himself.”