April 6, 2017

UFC 210: Rumble and DC Fight For the Right To Fight Jon Jones

By Adam Martin

Technically the main event of UFC 210 is a light heavyweight title fight rematch between champion Daniel Cormier and challenger Anthony Johnson, but more than anything, these two men are battling for the right to fight Jon Jones. Jones has not fought since a dreadful decision victory over Ovince Saint-Preux at UFC 197 in April 2016. He was due to fight Cormier in a rematch of their UFC 182 Fight of the Night bout. which Jones won, but the fight was scrapped at the last minute when Jones failed a drug test. Jones was then suspended for a year, but he’s expected to make his return this summer. That is, barring another setback with either banned substances or the law.

If Jones does come back this summer as the UFC hopes, his return is going to be massive. When Jones left the sport he was the #1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the game, and many observers of the sport, including myself, already considered him the best fighter in the history of MMA. The last few years have obviously hurt Jones’ image, and the fact he has been very inactive hasn’t helped either, but he’s still just 29 years old and is one of the sport’s biggest stars.

The UFC has very few fighters that are legitimate pay-per-view needle movers, but Jones is one of them, and either Cormier or Johnson has a potentially massive PPV bonus on his hands should he win this weekend at UFC 210 and earn a shot at Jones. While Cormier vs. Johnson II and UFC 210 might sell 300,000 pay-per-views, the return of Jones against either man could very well do close to one million buys, if not more. After all, Jones vs. Cormier at UFC 182 did 800,000 buys, and the rematch should do even better. And a fresh fight pitting Jones against Johnson could be huge as well, especially if Johnson knocks Cormier out at UFC 210.

Although Cormier has been a solid champion since Jones took his leave from the sport, it still feels like something is missing, and Jones returning should fix that. All of a sudden his return makes light heavyweight look like a decent division. After all, 205 was the money-weight division in the UFC for years, and Jones’ return should do a lot to help fix that. It’s funny to think that Jones, the man without the belt, is actually the fight that Cormier and Johnson want, but that’s just how this sport is. It’s a sport where everyone has a finite shelf life and everyone wants to make as much money as they can before their time is up. And both Cormier and Johnson know that Jones is the big payday for them.

The first fight between Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Daniel Cormier was terrific, and this rematch promises to be just as good, but make no mistake about it, both these men are fighting for something bigger. With Jones finally returning from his long layoff and ready to prove to everyone he’s the best fighter who ever lived, not only will Johnson or Cormier leave UFC 210 with the title, but the winner will also earn himself a huge potential payday against Jones this summer. That is, unless Jones screws up again. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.


UFC 210: Cormier vs. Johnson 2 takes place April 8, 2017 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC 210 will be.
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