Recently, former UFC lightweight champion Jon Jones made the move to submission grappling during his suspension from MMA. Jones stepped into the cage against MMA legend Dan Henderson for a highly anticipated grappling match at Submission Underground 2.
Jones won the fight in dominant fashion, submitting Henderson in just minutes. Following the match, Jones found himself called out for grappling matches by numerous people, including Conor McGregor’s teammate Dillon Danis.
Now, ahead of his Bellator 170 scrap with Tito Ortiz on January 21st, Chael Sonnen has revealed that Jon Jones turned down a grappling match with Daniel Cormier, in order to take one with Cormier’s teammate, Luke Rockhold:
“Jon Jones is working on a deal right now. Jon is likely to return, but his likely opponent is Luke Rockhold. Rockhold can grapple, (Daniel) Cormier wanted that fight too, but Jon Jones said no. He wants to save (Cormier) for his UFC comeback where he can use all his tools. Vinny Magalhaes wanted the fight too, and we really wanted him to take that fight. If he fought Vinny, it would be (Jones’) first fight in ten years that he should lose.”
Rockhold of course was recently forced to pullout of a UFC fight with Jacare Souza due to an injury. Similarly, Cormier was recently forced to pull out of his UFC 206 title defense with Anthony Johnson due to a torn adductor in his groin. Fortunately, Cormier will be able to return to the Octagon around Spring of 2017.
Jones on the other hand will be forced to sit on the sidelines until July of 2017. After failing a drug test which was deemed to be caused by a tainted supplement prior to UFC 200 in July of 2016, Jones underwent an appeal process, and was handed a one year suspension.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/20/2017.