The long-awaited rematch between bitter MMA rivals Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is officially docketed for July 29 on UFC 214 in Anaheim, Calif., UFC President Dana White announced Friday.
Jones, who lives in Albuquerque and trains here at Jackson-Wink MMA, is the former UFC light heavyweight champion. But Jones (22-1) did not lose his title in the ring. His victory over Cormier by unanimous decision in January 2015 was followed by Jones’ involvement in an Albuquerque hit-and-run car crash that resulted in his suspension and forfeiture of the title.
Cormier (19-1) won the title that May with a victory by third-round submission over Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. He has successfully defended the belt three times.
Jones returned to competition in April 2016 with a victory by unanimous decision over Ovince St. Preux. The fight originally was to have been a Jones-Cormier rematch, but Cormier withdrew, citing a foot injury.
The Jones-Cormier rematch was rescheduled for July 2016, but Jones was removed and then suspended after a positive test for a banned substance. He’s due to be reinstated July 7.
Friday, at the UFC’s “Summer Kickoff” news conference in Dallas – the site of UFC 2011 tonight – the two traded insults.
Two of the more civil ones:
“He has the belt,” Jones said of Cormier. “(But) he’s not the champion. … He hasn’t shown me anything.”
“If I haven’t shown him anything, at least I’ve been around to show something,” Cormier said. “Where the (expletive) has he been?”
Albuquerque’s Holly Holm, Jones’ Jackson-Wink teammate, also attended Friday’s news conference and had an intense face-off with Brazil’s Bethe Correia. Holm (10-3) and Correia (10-2) are scheduled to meet in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card in Singapore on June 17.
During the news conference, Correia repeated her opinion that Holm, who has lost three fights since her November 2015 victory over Ronda Rousey, is overrated.
“I think she’s not as good an athlete as she’s made out to be,” Correia said via a translator. “That’s why she’s not had such success in her last fights.”
Holm, typically, did not respond in kind.
“Whatever comes my way, I just want to make the best of it,” she said. “… This is the fight in front of me, and I’m excited to get in there.
“I want to get better, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from my last two fights, and you’re gonna see something new.”