Cain Velasquez Hints At Jon Jones Fight If Cormier Retires

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(Photo by Mike Stobe/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Cain Velasquez is back and eying title contention heading into his anticipated return against Francis Ngannou at UFC on ESPN 1.

But there’s another UFC champion Velasquez has his eyes on outside of the heavyweight division. That titleholder is newly-returned light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. “Bones” has a well-documented, long-running rivalry with Velasquez’s close friend and teammate Daniel Cormier.

Cormier also happens to be the current UFC heavyweight champion. He’s hinted at fighting Brock Lesnar and retiring before he turns 40 this year, yet no one really knows how many more fights ‘DC’ actually has left. Cormier has been linked to a trilogy fight with Jones.

Jones, on the other hand, has been cold on moving up to heavyweight for it, and he’s reportedly facing Anthony Smith for the 205-pound belt in the main event of March 2’s UFC 235. That means Cormier vs. Jones III may never happen.

If Cormier does decide to retire, Velasquez is apparently willing to pick up where his good friend left off. He recently told MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti that he hopes he can one day fight Jones and would try to make it happen:

“I hope so. I’ll try to make that happen.”

An Uncertain Timeline

Jones has routinely been linked to a move up to heavyweight for quite some time. His outside-the-cage issues involving all sorts of drugs have most likely put that on hold for the time being, however. Jones has admitted he is looking to ‘make up for lost time’ and fight three times this year. At the moment, it would seem he’s intent on defending the light heavyweight title in those bouts.

The allure of a third fight with Cormier could ultimately prove to be too much to decline. Cormier has stated he feels he doesn’t need to face Jones a third time to secure his legacy. The fierce competitor in him could also win out and result in a third fight as the time draws near.

If not and Cormier does ultimately decide to retire, Velasquez will be there to extend AKA’s rivalry with Jones. That is, if he’s able to stay healthy and rise up to the position many thought he would be in for years now.

Either way, both fights would be massive draws.