A much talked about rematch between light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones could finally happen at UFC 214 on July 29th, but all depends on whether ‘Bones’ feels he’s ready to contend for the title.
The original hope had been that Cormer Vs Jones II could headline the UFC 213 show earlier that month in Las Vegas during International Fight Week, but with Jones’ year-long suspension only ending just prior to the event that’s now been ruled out as a possibility.
As such, the UFC are keeping an open mind about what’s going to happen, with No.3 contender Jimi Manuwa being a fallback option for either UFC 213 or 214 if Jones isn’t ready to fight Cormier in July.
“Cormier is available to fight on July 8, but that time frame doesn’t work for Jon Jones,” White told ESPN. “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.”
It’s interesting that the UFC aren’t fully committed to the Cormier Vs Jones II fight yet, even though it’s the obvious fight to make.
The suggestion appears to be that Jones may be considering having a tune-up fight instead of immediately facing his biggest rival after having fought just once in the past two and a half years.
That fight came against Ovince St. Preux at UFC 197 in April of last year, and while Jones won relatively comfortably by unanimous decision, it was an uninspired performance in comparison to the high standards we’ve come to expect from him.
It’s likely that this uncertainty about what Jones is going to decide to do is the reason why Manuwa has suddenly been thrust into the title picture of late, including appearing Octagon-side during DC’s latest title defense against Anthony Johnson at UFC 210 earlier this month.
The two had a verbal exchange after the fight, and that war of words has now continued on social media this week, so it wouldn’t be a big surprise if that does end up being the fight the UFC goes with.