It looks like the Conor McGregor debacle has finally come to an end, as the UFC has finally announced the fight that will replace McGregor vs. Nate Diaz as the show’s main-event.
The rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, which was supposed to headline UFC 197, will now headline UFC 200 this coming July. Most people saw this coming after McGregor was pulled from the card, as it was really the only available fight that was worthy of the show’s main-event slot.
Jon Jones is coming off of a 5-round, unanimous decision win over Ovince St. Preux, and after that fight, there were many, including UFC president Dana White, who said that Jones looked extremely rusty against OSP. The UFC president said that, in his opinion, Jones looked so rusty that it was “a good thing” he faced St. Preux instead of Daniel Cormier at UFC 197.
“I’m a firm believer in ring rust — Jon Jones looked rusty tonight, and it was a really good thing for him that it was OSP tonight, the sixth-ranked guy, and not Cormier, because he was able to get some rounds under his belt, get in there and feel himself out. Now he knows what he has to do when he gets back in the gym.”
Daniel Cormier was forced to pull-out of the UFC 197 main-event due to injury, and after the show’s conclusion, he told the media that he was going to get evaluated by his doctor on Monday, and if he was cleared to fight in July, then he would volunteer to face Jon Jones at UFC 200. So, DC was obviously cleared by his doctor.
Jones nearly got hit with a six-month medical suspension following UFC 197, as he injured his leg during his fight with St. Preux. Of course, a six-month medical suspension would’ve kept Jones out of action until October, which would mean that the UFC may have been forced to put Conor McGregor back on the UFC 200 show.
The first fight between Jones and Cormier, which took place back in January of last year, went all five-rounds. Jones ended up winning via unanimous decision.
Just a few months after their initial bout, Jones was suspended and stripped of the UFC light heavyweight championship after his involvement in a hit-and-run. Cormier then fought, and defeated, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in a bout for the vacant light heavyweight championship.
Jones absolutely dominated Cormier in their first fight, and he’s the heavy favorite going into the rematch, which isn’t much of a surprise.
Despite what happened in their first bout, Daniel Cormier is confident that he can defeat Jones after watching his performance against Ovince St. Preux. In fact, DC was actually angry at himself that he got injured in the training camp leading up to what was supposed to be his rematch with Jones, because he’s absolutely sure that he could’ve beaten the Jon Jones that he saw two Saturdays ago.
Jones hadn’t fought in nearly 15-months prior to UFC 197, which is one of the reasons why he was so rusty. Another reason is, according to Jones, is the fact that he was preparing to fight Daniel Cormier, and his opponent was changed to Ovince St. Preux just a little under two weeks before UFC 197. So, Jones is chalking up his rust to not having enough time to fully prepare for OSP.
With Jones and Cormier now on UFC 200, the card will feature three title fights. The other two are Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship, and the other is Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar for the interim UFC featherweight championship, and the winner of that fight will likely face Conor McGregor later this year.
[Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images]