Just before midnight on the eve of what should have been the greatest card for the UFC, it lost its main event: Jon ‘Bones’ Jones v Daniel Cormier (D.C) has been called off. U.S Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the drug-testing partner to the UFC announced that Jon Jones has tested positive for banned substances and involved in a potential doping violation, prompting UFC president Dana White to call off the Jones v Cormier and move the women’s bantamweight championship fight between Miesha Tate & Amanda Nunes to headline the fight.
According to USADA, the consequences for Jones (below) if found guilty will be a two-year ban. The UFC stands to temporarily lose arguably their most gifted UFC champion who won the title at 23 becoming the youngest champion in UFC history. The man called ‘Bones’ may not fight again till his 30th birthday and that will mean a loss of his prime years, the peak of his physical ability mixed with his youthful exuberance but more importantly his potential legacy. With the second sample results also coming out positive making it is one of the biggest disappointments of his career after he seemingly looked to have moved on from his troubled past. I am pretty confident that Jon Jones will return even if found guilty with a two-year ban; crowds will still line up to see him fight again because fighters of Jon Jones’ mettle have been known to defy odds on the back of their awe inspiring abilities evident on any given fight night. His personality can only be matched by that of Conor McGregor making him an all-round valuable asset and athlete to the UFC.
Youth versus Experience
Their last fight at UFC 182 in January 2015, Jones defeated D.C and went on to lift the Light Heavyweight title. That night Jon was the superior fighter and Cormier knew he had to improve to get the better of Jon Jones. Later that year, Daniel Cormier was scheduled to fight Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night 68 whilst Jon Jones was scheduled to defend his title against Anthony Johnson. However, it was announced that he would be replaced by Daniel Cormier due to Jones being given a indefinite suspension and be stripped of the Light Heavyweight championship. He was involved in a hit-and-run car accident which involved his rental crashing into the car of a pregnant woman breaking her arm, three weeks before the fight. Not only did Jones injure the woman, he fled the scene and the UFC were compelled to strip him of his title and indefinitely suspend him. One would have thought that would have been the end of his MMA career. D.C (left) eventually went on to capture the vacant title with a third round submission over Johnson and followed it up with a successful title defense against Alexander Gustafsson (right)with a split decision victory.
But right now, in the immediate aftermath of this announcement, and given everything that has happened in the past 24 hours, no one will be more distraught than Daniel Cormier. At 37, this was D.C’s last chance at making a career high payday and arguably fights in the biggest bout of his career. You can forgive Cormier if he had a smile on his face after the news broke at Jones’ misfortune but the emotions he showed when he faced the press were undeniable: Cormier was devasted. This isn’t just another setback in Cormier’s journey; this is was his last chance at redemption against the only loss of his MMA career. A very emotional Daniel Cormier recalled the long and grueling road that has ultimately led to nowhere. A former Olympic wrestler, Cormier only entered the realm of MMA in 2009 aged 30. Jones had beaten Cormier once and worked his way into beating the division’s best fighters during Jones’ absence for the inevitable rematch. It’s anybody’s guess if we will see Jones v Cormier II again, it seems highly unlikely with Jones’ potential comeback after his 30th birthday by which time D.C will be 39 and fat approaching the twilight years of his career. Knowing we might have missed out on one of the best rivalries in UFC history will be a story unfinished. Jones will be back continuing his UFC career and continue creating a legacy; he has a potential career in front of him but for Daniel Cormier this was the final hurdle, the last chance to defeat the demons of his past and eliminate any doubt that he is indeed the champion.
Anderson Silva (right) has officially replaced Jon Jones and will face Daniel Cormier (left) this Sunday at UFC 200. This will be a non-title bout. The UFC has given Cormier a chance to compete against one of the legends in Silva. This bout should turn out to be a grand spectacle potentially living up to immediate expectations if ‘Spider’ Silva can roll back the years and produce another stellar performance.