Fresh off of Cormier’s UFC 210 victory over Anthony Johnson, UFC president Dana White told ESPN on Monday that he is open to booking the second coming of Jones and Cormier at UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif.
In a perfect world, they would make another run at Cormier vs. Jones 2 at UFC 213 on July 8 in Las Vegas. That, however, is a non-starter. Jones will only just become eligible to return at that point, and the logistics of putting the fight together for that date won’t allow it.
Jones is currently in the midst of a one-year suspension stemming from a failed drug test the last time that the UFC tried to book Cormier vs. Jones 2, which was last July at UFC 200 in Las Vegas. They had also been booked for a rematch prior to that at UFC 197, but that attempt went sideways when Cormier had to withdraw due to a knee injury.
If Jones is willing to fight Cormier in his first fight back from suspension, White would be open to booking it for UFC 214. Jones has hinted that he might not want to jump immediately into a title fight upon his return, but there is already a Plan B, as No. 3 ranked UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa has been trying to get a fight with Cormier.
For his part, Cormier appears willing to fight either.
“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.
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“If Jon Jones is ready to fight on July 29, we’ll see the Jones versus Cormier rematch, finally.”
The only other rub, might be where the fight would land on the UFC 214 card. White has said that he wouldn’t currently trust booking Jones in a headlining bout. So it remains to be seen how White would handle the positioning of the bout, especially considering that Cormier has also said that he wouldn’t fight Jones outside of a headlining bout unless they were the co-main event to Conor McGregor.
Neither Jones nor his camp had yet to comment on the fight as of the time of publication.