It’s no secret that Jon Jones has a lot to prove later tonight (Sat., July 29, 2017) at UFC 214 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., when he meets current UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in a rematch for the ages. Jones will step inside of the Octagon needing to vindicate his professional career and ongoing bid for greatest fighter of all time.
It has been a long journey for Jones up to this point. After handing Cormier his first professional loss back at UFC 182 via unanimous decision, Jones ran into a plethora of issues outside of the cage. Not only did the former light heavyweight king get stripped of his title after a hit-and-run incident back in 2015, but Jones was pulled from his scheduled rematch with Cormier at UFC 200 last year after testing positive for a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) violation. Jones has worked tirelessly to fulfill his legal requirements and re-instill belief into fight fans that he could come back to UFC and compete uninterrupted.
At UFC 214, all of Jones’ hard work will have come full circle. He will step back inside of the Octagon and compete for his first undisputed light heavyweight title since knocking off “DC” back in January of 2015. Considering Jones and Cormier have built one of the most entertaining and volatile rivalries in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA), it’s only fitting that “Bones” makes his return against “DC.”
While history lends a hand in predicting how Jones will fair in the rematch at UFC 214, the fact remains that the 30-year-old has competed just once since his initial meeting with Cormier. That lone Octagon appearance came in the form of an interim title fight opposite Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 last year, in which Jones looked slower, less confident, and understandably bogged down by tons of cage rust.
If Jones is unable to channel his former self at UFC 214 and do the things we’ve grown accustomed to seeing him do, Cormier may very well close the small gap between the two 205-pound elites and forge enough fire to burn Jones for his first true professional loss. However, there lies a strong possibility that Jones needed all of the time off he received in order to get his mind right for a sustained fighting career, which could result in even a better version of himself in 2017.
Only time will tell which Jon Jones shows up opposite Cormier at UFC 214, but you better believe the entire MMA community will be watching “Bones” with close eyes as he attempts to reclaim his pound-for-pound throne.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 214 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FXX at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.