Former pound-for-pound No. 1 Jon Jones will make his return to the Octagon in a highly anticipated rematch against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, and the 31-year-old is ready to reclaim his throne.
Jones has been out of action for the past year due to a failed drug test in 2017, when the former light heavyweight champion tested positive for trace amounts of steroids. Jones’ positive drug test resulted in his knockout win over Daniel Cormier being overturned to a No Contest, and ‘Bones’ feels ‘DC’ has used that test to discredit his career.
Jones is no longer willing to stay silent while his long-running rival, Cormier, continues to discredit him in the media. Now that he has served his 15-month suspension, the former light heavyweight king is on the offence and taking no prisoners.
“The only reason I brought up the name of Daniel Cormier is that he brought up my name,” Jones said during Thursday’s UFC 232 media teleconference, per MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle. “And I just figured, when I was in trouble, I just stepped back, all summer long, and let everybody talk as much sh*t as they want, and just talk blindly, knowing no facts. I watched everyboy that I beat in the past say ‘ohh, he was on steroids when he fought me the first time, that’s why he beat me.’ I just sat back and let everybody have at it.
“I stayed quiet for almost a whole year. And now I’m back, and I’m ready to reclaim my throne, and the sitting down and being quiet days are over. Daniel Cormier opened his mouth about me. He wants to sell to the people that steroids had something to do with my success. He would love it if, that’s the dialogue he wants to get out there, that’s the narrative he wants to get out there, and I want to nip it in the bud.”
Jones recently called out Cormier for a third fight, but the Jackson-Wink product doesn’t think the current light heavyweight and heavyweight champ will accept.
“I challenged Cormier to be my first title defense, and let’s see what he does. I don’t think he responded yet, and I think everybody knows he doesn’t want to fight me a third time,” Jones said.
“I’m not out to get Daniel Cormier,” Jones continued. “I’m here protecting himself the guy’s out there making comments about me and I’m just responding.”
Before there’s any talk of a rematch with Cormier, Jones must first get past multiple title challenger Alexander Gustafsson, which is no easy task. Jones beat ‘The Mauler’ via unanimous decision in a Fight of the Night classic back in 2013, but many pundits scored the bout for Gustafsson.
The championship rematch will take place next week, Dec. 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.