The Ultimate Fighting Championship will hope the third time is the charm when it comes to booking the Daniel Cormier-Jon Jones light heavyweight championship rematch.
The promotion announced that Cormier will defend his title against Jones at UFC 214 in Anaheim on July 29 during a summer kick-off press conference in Dallas on Friday. UFC 214 takes place at the Honda Center and will also include a featherweight tilt between Doo Ho Choi and Andre Fili.
Jones and Cormier initially squared off at UFC 182 on Jan. 3, 2015, with Jones retaining his light heavyweight title in a five-round unanimous decision triumph. Jones was stripped of the belt and suspended by the UFC after being arrested for fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque, N.M., in April 2015. Cormier then claimed the vacant light heavyweight strap with a third-round submission of Anthony Johnson at UFC 187. “DC” has since made successful title defenses against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 192 and Johnson again at UFC 210. He also outpointed Anderson Silva at UFC 200, a non-title bout that was put together just days before the event after Jones was pulled from the card.
Jones has fought just once since his victory over Cormier at UFC 182. Their rematch was initially booked for UFC 197, but “DC” withdrew from the bout due to injury. The Jackson-Wink representative instead claimed interim 205-pound gold with a decision win over Ovince St. Preux at the April 2016 event. Jones and Cormier were next scheduled to lock horns at UFC 200, but “Bones” was pulled from the headliner days before the event after testing positive for the banned substances clomiphene and letrozole during an out-of-competition drug screening. Jones’ year-long USADA suspension will end on July 6.
It is not currently clear if the Cormier-Jones rematch will serve as the headliner for the event. UFC President Dana White previously said that Jones would not be booked as a main event in his Octagon return because he hasn’t proven himself to be trustworthy enough to assume that role.