— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 20, 2017
This July 29, in the main event of UFC 214, Jon Jones will attempt to reclaim the light heavyweight title he once guarded so ferociously when he takes on reigning champion Daniel Cormier.
This bout will mark the latest chapter – and perhaps the final chapter – in Jones and Cormier’s tumultuous rivalry.
This rivalry dates back to 2014, when the two fighters engaged in a now infamous press conference brawl, sending former UFC employee Dave Sholler tumbling through the stage’s backdrop in the midst of the madness. The rivalry continued over the coming months, until it reached a crescendo when the pair fought in January of 2015. On that night, Jones defeated Cormier with a fairly lopsided unanimous decision, but that’s not where the heat ended.
Shortly after defending his title against Cormier, Jones was stripped of the belt after a long list of troubles outside the cage. From there, Cormier defeated Anthony “Rumble” Johnson to win the vacant belt, and quickly began campaigning for a rematch with Jones – this time as the champ.
With Jones dealing with his legal troubles, however, Cormier then defended his newly-won title in a tooth-and-nail war with Alexander Gustafsson. From there, he was briefly scheduled for an early 2016 rematch with Jones, but was unfortunately forced out of this fight with an injury, leaving Jones to battle Ovince St. Preux for interim gold in his anticipated comeback fight.
Jones and Cormier were then scheduled to fight again in July of 2016, atop the landmark UFC 200 bill, yet this time, the plan crumbled again, as Jones failed a drug test and was yanked from the contest just days out from the event. With Jones dealing with a suspension, Cormier then defeated Anderson Silva in a non-title fight, and defended the title again with a second win over Rumble.
This catches up to the present, when Jones is poised for yet another comeback at UFC 214.
Needless to say, the two light heavyweight greats have squared off many times before. See their many square-offs in the video at the top of this post!
Who are you picking in the Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones rematch?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/21/2017.