Dana White Proposes Cormier vs. Jones II For Late Summer UFC

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Troubled yet peerless former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is eligible to return from his USADA suspension in July, so not surprisingly, the UFC is looking to book the big-ticket “Bones” as soon as they can.

Losing only to a DQ in his illustrious career but also seeing countless high-profile main events fall by the wayside for legal troubles with drugs, alcohol, and performance-enhancing drugs, Jones has only fought once since his decision victory over current champion Daniel Cormier in January 2015, a sluggish decision over late replacement Ovince St. Preux in April 2016 after Cormier pulled out of their original rematch.

It was Jones who was the cause of the re-scheduled bout falling apart, however, as he tested positive for two banned estrogen blockers in the days leading up to the two rivals’ second bout at July 2016’s UFC 200.

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But if “Bones” wants an immediate rematch with his longtime rival, apparently he’s got it.

UFC President Dana White appeared on ‘Sportscenter’ alongside ESPN’s Brett Okamoto to propose a Cormier vs. Jones rematch on July 29’s UFC 214 from Anaheim, even though he had previously insisted he could no longer trust Jones to main event a major show:

“”Cormier is available to fight on July 8, but that timeframe doesn’t work for Jon Jones,” White said. “Cormier already told me he’s willing to fight either Jones or Manuwa.

“If Jon Jones is ready to fight [by UFC 214] on July 29, we’ll see the Jones versus Cormier rematch, finally.”

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Cormier fired up an ongoing Twitter beef with No. 4-ranked knockout slugger Jimi Manuwa earlier today, agreeing to fight him on social media and calling him light work. White had also previously suggested a tune-up fight may not be the worst idea for Jones, and “The Poster Boy” is chomping at the bit after Cormier allegedly disrespected him at UF 210:

“Jimi wants Cormier,” White said. “They got into it at UFC 210 [earlier this month] and Jimi told me he’s never been talked to like that before. We’ll see how this plays out.”

So it looks like Cormier could meet Manuwa if Jones does want a fight before fighting “DC,” but it’s hard to imagine either of the three sides wanting to pass up on arguably the second-most lucrative rivalry in the UFC right now.

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It’s also difficult to envision just what card would headline UFC 214 if Cormier vs. Jones wont especially with the traditional International Fight Week pay-per-view (PPV) card only three weeks earlier.

And then there’s always the issue of Jones making it to the fight without incident, as well.