Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Bones may have scored a unanimous decision victory over Ovince St. Preux in his highly anticipated return at UFC 197 this past weekend (April 23, 2016), but he didn’t necessarily show up in the form we have grown accustom to seeing him in.
Jones has been on the sidelines for nearly 16 months dealing with legal issues, and perhaps he experienced a bit of ring rust as UFC president Dana White feels.
“Bones” was originally scheduled to take on current champion Daniel “DC” Cormier for the title, but the former Olympian was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury.
Cormier, who lost to Jones back at UFC 182, saw a difference in the pound-for-pound king’s performance as well, implying that he would have been very successful against the ‘new’ Jones had he been healthy enough to fight:
“He got the job done,” Cormier said on FOX Sports 1’s post-fight show. “A lot of times, most guys, they don’t have their best performance, they lose. They don’t get it done. So it shows how special Jon is. That being said, very disappointed that I didn’t get to compete tonight because I do believe that if he showed up in the form that he did tonight, or if this is the new Jon Jones, there’s no way that guy can beat me.”
Despite not being able to compete at UFC 197, Cormier is indeed looking forward to his rematch with his most bitter rival.
In fact, it may come sooner than expected as July 9’s blockbuster UFC 200 card is in need of a main event after featherweight champion Conor McGregor was scrapped from his scheduled rematch with Nate Diaz.
Jones has already said that he’d be honored to fight at UFC 200, and if Cormier is healthy, it should be a go:
“I go to the doctor on Monday,” Cormier said. “I feel much better already. I did the stem cell (treatment) and I’m able to walk good now. I feel like I can be healthy for anytime. UFC 200 needs a main event. (If) the doctor gives me the go-ahead, I’ll be ready to go. Let’s get this guy back in the octagon. Let’s go. I want nothing more than to fight this guy every day of the week.”
Given Jones’ recent performance, how do you see his rematch with “DC” playing out?