Not long ago, UFC President Dana White suggested that he would never trust former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to headline a pay-per-view again, citing the former champ’s many troubles outside the cage as the reason. It appears that this was an empty promise.
BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor has confirmed with sources close to the fight that Jones will make his anticipated return to the Octagon in the main event of UFC 214, where he will will challenge reigning champion Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight title. The bout was first reported to be in the works by MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani. The card goes down on July 29 in Anaheim, California.
Jones will enter this fight having not fought since April of 2016. Originally this most recent fight was supposed to pit him against the champ Cormier. When Cormier was forced out of the fight an injury, however, Jones battled Ovince St. Preux for interim gold, winning the fight with an insipid unanimous decision.
Cormier, meanwhile, was last seen in the cage in early April, when he defended his title with a second-round submission of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. In his next most recent fight, which occurred in July of 2016, he was originally expected to fight Jon Jones, but ultimately fought and defeated Anderson Silva in a last-minute non-title fight after Jones was forced off the card after failing a drug test. Before defeating Silva, Cormier defended his title with a hard-fought decision defeat of Alexander Gustafsson, and won the title Jones had left vacant with a submission defeat of Rumble.
Jones and Cormier have fought once before, back in June of 2015. On that night, Jones successfully defended the title with a unanimous decision, but was stripped shortly thereafter after multiple legal issues outside the cage.
At this time, not much else is known about the UFC 214. As per our previous report, however, Cris “Cyborg” Justino is still expected to fight for featherweight gold in the co-main event – though it is not known who she’ll fight, or whether it will be for an interim title or a vacant title.