The UFC are currently targeting the month of May to host a fight between light-heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones and Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson.
That’s the word according to Dana White during an interview on The Jim Rome Show yesterday.
“We’re looking to do that fight in May,” White told Rome. “I don’t have the exact date, but May.”
Looking at the UFC’s current schedule it may well be that this title encounter will be the headliner at UFC 187 on May 23rd in Las Vegas as the other shows currently listed for that month are ‘Fight Nights’.
Jones already has a successful title defense under his belt this year, defeating Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision on January 3rd.
However, as impressive as his eighth consecutive title defense was, the 27 year-old’s post-fight celebrations were cut short when it came to light that he had tested positive for cocaine metabolites during a pre-fight drug test back in early December.
Due to the fact that the drug wasn’t officially classified as an illegal substance out-of-competition, Jones escaped punished from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but the incident undoubtedly cast Jones in an unfavorable light.
He checked into rehab after the story first broke, but it later emerged he’d spent just one night there. However, he’s since clarified that he’s not undertaking an outpatient program after being deemed not to be a drug addict who needed constant supervision.
His next opponent, Johnson is no stranger to controversy himself having been released from the UFC in early 2012 due to consistently failing to make the welterweight limit.
‘Rumble’ then reinvented himself in the lower leagues as a light-heavyweight and after a string of victories earned a callback to the UFC last year.
Seizing the opportunity he quickly found himself in title contention after defeating Phil Davis and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the space of three months.
He then ran into trouble again after an alleged domestic abuse incident led to him being suspended by the UFC in September of 2014. The charges were dropped a couple of months later though after an investigation found no wrongdoing on his part.
That led to him being booked in a number one contender bout with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC On FOX 14 last Saturday night which he won emphatically by first round TKO, ensuring that he would be next in line to face the champion.