Despite still serving a year-long drug suspension, Jon Jones will determine who Daniel Cormier’s next UFC title fight will be against.
UFC president Dana White stated Monday Jones will decide if he wants an immediate title shot or a tune-up fight upon his return. Cormier will face Jimi Manuwa at UFC 124 if Jones isn’t ready for the July 29 event.
“Cormier is available to fight on July 8, but that time frame doesn’t work for Jon Jones,” White told ESPN.com. “Cormier already told me he’s willing to fight either Jones or Manuwa.
“If Jon Jones is ready to fight on July 29, we’ll see the Jones versus Cormier rematch, finally.”
Jones’ 12-month ban for taking a tainted “dick pill” will be lifted July 6. He hasn’t been seen since beating Ovince St. Preux for the vacant interim light heavyweight belt in April 2016.
Jones was stripped of his crown after a felony hit-and-run arrest in 2015. It was the latest in a long list legal blunders for Jones.
The troubled 29-year-old was slated to face Cormier in a title unification bout in UFC 200’s featured attraction before getting yanked from the rematch just three days before showtime due to his positive drug test.
From a DWI arrest, to cocaine, to admitted marijuana addiction, to a hit-and-run arrest, to a flunked drug test, Jones just can’t seem to get out of his own way. As riveting as he is inside the cage, he’s equally as reckless outside of it.
Cormier, meanwhile, is 10 days removed from submitting Anthony Johnson in his second UFC title defense. After the bout, Cormier proclaimed he’s ready for either Jones or Manuwa next.
He has resurrected his Twitter beef with Jones, and has been fully engaged in one with Manuwa since beating Johnson.
Jones cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Cormier in their initial encounter at UFC 182 to notch is eighth consecutive title defense.