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 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.