Ahead of his comeback fight with Ovince St. Preux at UFC 197 this weekend, former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is already looking ahead to the possibility of fighting on the UFC 200 card in July.
“Absolutely, I would totally step in to UFC 200 and fill in that main event or co-main event slot,” Jones stated at the UFC 197 open-workouts in Las Vegas.
If that was the case his opponent would be current light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier who was forced out of competing against Jones on short notice due to a foot injury.
Cormier had previously indicated that he’d be ready fight by then, though his main concern was whether Jones would emerge healthy enough after his bout with OSP on Saturday night to be able to to compete again in just a few months time.
If all the pieces did fall into place this currently seems like the best option available to the UFC to fill the void left by Conor McGregor at the top end of the historic card.
Speaking of McGregor, Jones stated his belief that it’s only a matter of time before ‘The Notorious’ returns to action.
“I don’t think he’s retired,” Jones said. “I don’t think he’s going to retire. Just a few days ago, on his Instagram, he said ‘hungry like day one.’ So, a guy like a Conor, he is a fighter and he is a winner, and I don’t think he would want to go out on a loss. I think if he doesn’t fight again, his legacy is really that Diaz fight. So I’m pretty sure he’ll back.”
Having said that, Jones said that he admired McGregor’s bold decision to retire after an apparent falling out with the UFC over his media obligations ahead of the UFC 200 event.
“Hats off to him for standing up for what he believes is right,” Jones said. “At the end of the day, business is business, and the guy obviously has respect for himself and his talents. Fights like this will help fighters in the future. So, I respect his balls. … I respect his willingness to fight for what is right.”