The MMA world is on the precipice of some potentially massive shifts in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. On Saturday night, Daniel Cormier will defend his title vs. former kingpin Jon Jones. And the story lines afterwards appear to be endless.
While in Buffalo this past April to cover DC’s title defense vs. Anthony Johnson, my conversations with champ were overshadowed by a theme that is obvious to some but perhaps it’s depth is not fully understood. I get the sense the Cormier has only one goal left in his MMA career: to defeat his arch-nemesis, Jon Jones.
For DC, it seems as if that will be the ultimate accomplishment on his storied tenure as a Mixed Martial Artist. Nothing more needs to be done. Defeat John and then hang up the gloves.
Migrate full-time into commentary and that’s a wrap.
Or is it?
During this week’s ‘Holy Smokes’ Podcast, we discussed at length, the variables of DC winning and of Jones emerging victorious. I believe if DC wins, he could potentially hang up the gloves.
Co-host Sean Ross Sapp believes DC would want a rematch, a trilogy, to put a stamp on the feud, while putting copious amounts of coin in their bank accounts.
Now if Jon should win, does DC still continue competing? If so, does he do it at 205 lbs, or move back to heavyweight, the division where he started his MMA career and where his friend and training partner, Cain Velasquez, is not the champion?
And while this is a viable option, considering the lack of depth at 205 lbs, and my longtime prediction that Jon Jones will move up to heavyweight one day, are these two forever feuding fighters destined to continue the rivalry for years to come?
It’s all a bunch of what ifs and maybes, but these are intriguing conversations we can look into while the real stories eventually pan themselves out over time.
What does the result in Saturday’s UFC 214 main event also mean for the two other contenders on the card: Jimi Manuwa and Volkan Oezdemir. These two will kick off the main card for what many have been led to believe is the right to fight for the title next. While Oezdemir’s road to this position has been a quiet one, we definitely cannot say the same for Jimi.
The Brit has already planted two different seeds, watering the proverbial soil with DC and Jones. He’s called both of them out. He’s disparaged them. They have replied. The makings of a bout with either one can be simple to put together and fairly easy to promote. In a perfect scenario for the UFC, Jimi emerges victorious and let the chips fall where they may in the main event. Most specifically, if Jones and Jimi win, we have ourselves the next title fight at 205 lbs.
This is just the apex of story angles for the division, which will finally get another injection of intrigue and enjoyment. We’ve needed Jon Jones back in this division for quite some time. He’s back. Let’s hope he doesn’t screw things up. DC has done a great job has the kingpin, but Jon adds massive amounts of fuel to his fire.
We are just a few days away from all of it going down. I’m excited. Let’s hope the MMA Gods are too. We do not need any outside extracurricular stupidity to ruin this for us.