On December 10, in the main event of UFC 206, Daniel Cormier will defend the UFC light heavyweight title against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. As significant as this bout is, however, it will have a shadow cast over it by one man: former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Jones won the divisional crown in early 2011 with a third-round TKO of light heavyweight legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. From there, he cut through the division like a buzzsaw, fending off game challengers in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira and Cormier, experiencing only a few moments of adversity along the way. By the time he’d defended his title against Cormier, he stood at as not only the greatest light heavyweight ever, but also one of the greatest fighters ever – period.
Unfortunately, the last few years of Jones’ career have been marred by controversies, ranging from cocaine possession to his involvement in a hit-and-run with a pregnant woman. These controversies forced the UFC’s hand in stripping him of the light heavyweight title. Not long after the belt was ripped from his waist, Cormier won the vacant title, defeating Rumble in their first fight, which occured midway through 2015.
Though Jones has competed since then, defeating Ovince St. Preux in a last minute light heavyweight bout earlier this year, he was subsequently notified of potential anti-doping violation by USADA, which booted him right out of the title picture at the very moment he’d re-entered it.
Luckily for Jones fans, its looking like this brush with USADA can be attributed to tainted supplements, which would take the blame for incident almost completely off his shoulders. If this turns out to be the case, the light heavyweight great could be back in action in the very near future, where a scrap with the winner of Cormier and Rumble’s UFC 206 title fight would surely await.
Early on Wednesday morning Jones was asked by a fan on Twitter which of these two men he’d prefer to face. Despite his highly-publicized beef with Cormier, the former champ surprised by saying he’d rather fight Rumble.
I would much rather fight Rumble for the title. That way I could clear the division and get my belt back at once https://t.co/aZJKjuUsP7
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 26, 2016
“I would rather fight Rumble for the title,” he said “That way I could clear out the division and get my belt back at once.”
Who would you rather see the former champ return to action against? Cormier or Rumble? Sound off, PENN Nation!