Photo Courtesy: MMAFIGHTING.COM
Recently, the fight world was treated to the news that UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, would move up a weight class to challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title in a super-fight at UFC 226 on July 7. The two champs will serve as coaches on the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, which has already begun filming in Las Vegas. The bout will be a return to heavyweight for Cormier, (20-1, 1 NC), who won the first 13 fights of his career in the division. Both men are coming off successful title defences at UFC 220.
While the fight poses many interesting questions, one that shouldn’t be overlooked is what this does to the career of Jon Jones, who won the title from Cormier at UFC 214, only to be stripped after yet another failed drug test.
After Jones’ title win, the stage was set. ‘Bones’, arguably the greatest to ever step foot inside the Octagon, was now poised to do the unprecedented. He had teased a move to heavyweight to challenge for the title of ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’, and UFC President Dana White was receptive to the idea. But, Jones did, as Jones has done so many times before, he got in his own way.
Now, Cormier, reinstated as ruler of the light heavyweights, gets what Jones might see as rightfully his. Cormier, a man who Jones has battled for so long, and beaten, nonetheless, will be granted the opportunity to make history.
How many opportunities should Jones be given? It started with DUI’s, progressed to failed drug tests, and culminated in a hit-and-run accident involving a pregnant woman. Millions lost in sponsorships, endorsements and so-forth. Not to mention being stripped of his championships on multiple occasions. UFC 214 seemed to be the storybook ending to his tale of redemption. A win over a game rival such as Cormier, was meant to solidify his standing as the best ever. Until it wasn’t. Jones disqualified himself yet again.
Now, Daniel Cormier, an ambassador for this great sport, one who claims to be winding down his career, is poised to stake his claim at that same position. Justifiably so.
July 7 can’t get here soon enough!