Perhaps it was never meant to be. As Daniel Cormier pointed out in a recent interview with Colin Cowherd (h/t Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting), 'DC' and Jones have only fought once despite the UFC's best efforts to book them on four separate occasions.
"We have to see how this plays out but I think in time [we will fight again]. Four times Jon and I have been scheduled to fight and we've fought once. The very first fight he pulled out of, then he beat me, then I pulled out of the fight in April, and now this. It's a snake bitten fight man."
The two light heavyweights were scheduled for a rematch at UFC 200, but 'Bones' was swiftly removed from the pay-per-view following a potential anti-doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition USADA drug test in June. The news has elicited outrage from the MMA community, with Jones proving to be one of the most difficult fighters on the UFC roster.
Despite the controversy surrounding Jones and the fact that he ruined one of the biggest fights of the year, Cormier can't help but sympathize with the former champion after watching his emotional statement at the press conference yesterday.
"It's still disappointing. Obviously the young man's hurting. We don't know exactly what he's going through but honestly that was a mistake made in there. Whether it be purposely, whether it be something they didn't know about, there was a mistake."
It's been a rough couple of years for Jones, who has found himself in trouble with the law on several occasions and stripped of the 205-pound belt he seemed destined to retire with.
Cormier, who lost in a competitive but one-sided decision to Jones last year at UFC 182, thinks the 28-year-old is his own worst enemy and hopes he can recover from what is likely to be a serious suspension.
"There's been a number of occasions where, for lack of a better word, [Jon] kind of let the promotion down. When that happens it's very hard to put your faith in someone like that. You see the UFC's machine go full go behind Ronda Rousey, behind Conor McGregor and those guys, they hold up their end of the bargain. It's your job to show up and fight and it's your job to always try to do the right thing.
"It's unfortunate because he's one of the most talented people that I've ever seen, and it's unfortunate because he can't get out of his own way."
In a bizarre turn of events, Cormier will now face Anderson Silva in a three-round non-title fight on the main card. Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt will serve as the co-main event, while Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes will feature as the main attraction. The pay-per-view takes place July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.