The rivalry between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is among the most captivating in the history of mixed martial arts.
Both UFC heavyweight champion Cormier and UFC light heavyweight king Jones have blown hot and cold about fighting each other once again, but they have both recently warmed to the idea of a third bout at light heavyweight.
But UFC President Dana White has other ideas. He’d like to see the pair square off at heavyweight if they were to run it back.
“The Cormier fight doesn’t need to happen again,” White told the UFC’s Laura Sanko in an interview. “But I think people want it to happen again, I want to see it again.
“I know they both want it. I want to see it at heavyweight, but those two are so stubborn, they both want it at 205.”
Jones and Cormier have fought each other twice in the Octagon, with Jones emerging the cage as the victor both times, but it’s more complicated than that.
Cormier was handed the first loss of his career against Jones at UFC 182 in January 2015, but a second fight between the two was nixed ahead of UFC 200 as Jones failed a drug test.
Jones said the positive test for banned substances clomiphene and letrozole was due to a contaminated product, which was later confirmed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Though he was handed a one-year suspension, the panel at his arbitration hearing stated they did not think Jones knowingly took those banned substances and his infraction was unintentional.
The pair finally had their rematch at UFC 214, which saw Jones win by knockout. However, that fight was later overturned to a No Contest as Jones tested positive for a different banned substance. Again, Jones and his team said this was due to a contaminated supplement and he was handed a 15-month suspension after an arbitrator independent from USADA believed Jones did not knowingly take any performance-enhancers.
Jones made his return to the sport at the end of 2018, defeating Alexander Gustafsson to win back his UFC light heavyweight gold.
Since then, Jones has defended his belt twice, defeating Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos.
Meanwhile, Cormier, who won the UFC light heavyweight strap against Anthony Johnson after his first loss to Jones and remained champion after his second fight with Jones was ruled a No Contest, moved back up to heavyweight to take Stipe Miocic’s heavyweight title in emphatic style and became a two-weight champion.
He has since defended the heavyweight belt once – against Derrick Lewis – after relinquishing his light heavyweight title.
Cormier will face Miocic for a second time later this month at UFC 241.