This coming July, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier is going to defend the title against either former champion Jon Jones or top ranked Jimi Manuwa.
UFC President Dana White recently spoke with ESPN, where he laid out some future plans for the champion and his challengers.
“Cormier is available to fight on July 8, but that time-frame doesn’t work for Jon Jones,” White said. “Cormier already told me he’s willing to fight either Jones or (Jimi) Manuwa. If Jon Jones is ready to fight (by UFC 214) on July 29, we’ll see the Jones versus Cormier rematch finally.”
White stated in the very same interview that if Jones doesn’t want to take the fight at UFC 214, then the shot goes to Manuwa.
Jones did defeat Cormier by decision in their first meeting at UFC 182, but he was then suspended one year by USADA just days before their rematch at UFC 200. The former light heavyweight champion has since served his suspension and is now free to fight again.
Manuwa recently headlined UFC Fight Night 107 and after knocking out Corey Anderson, started making motions towards a UFC Light Heavyweight Title shot. Manuwa and Cormier got into a heated verbal exchange after UFC 210, where Cormier successfully defended the gold against Anthony Johnson.
Even the top two contenders in Manuwa and Jones have exchanged words in the past, with Manuwa stating that he doesn’t want to fight a steroid user.
UFC 214 takes place on Saturday, July 29 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event.