The UFC has scheduled 2016 to be the biggest year yet in the promotions history. Hot on the heels of UFC 196, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta have set up big fight after big fight, and UFC 197 is no different.
At the 'Unstoppable' press conference, the fight most people were interested in was the grudge match between long time rivals Daniel Cormier and Jon 'Bones' Jones. A bout for the light heavyweight championship belt, this rematch has been a long time coming and it's clear that there is no love lost between the fighters.
The reinstated former champ Jon Jones is still seen as the pound for pound king in the UFC. Although an incredibly talented fighter, his MMA career has been marred with controversy, including problems with substance abuse and run ins with authorities. Something that Daniel Cormier is keen to not let the fighter forget.
Their war of words has steadily escalated as UFC197 draws closer, with Cormier bringing up Jon Jones' drug related problems in numerous interviews.
Although losing to Jones at UFC182, the current champ has been grinding it out in the gym and seems more motivated than ever. However, this time around Cormier will be fighting what many view as a new Jon Jones. A Jon Jones that's now six months sober and finally taking his UFC career seriously.
Speaking to "The Download", Dana White outlined just how scary this new Jon Jones is.
What’s fascinating about Jon Jones right now is if you look at what this guy was doing in the past and how hardcore he’s training now – It’s almost scary. The guy who’s never taken it serious is literally taking it serious now. What’s the new Jon Jones going to be like now
Although the odds are stacked against DC, with the bookies placing Jones as the firm favorite, Dana White has outlined how potentially massive this could be for the light heavyweight champions career.
Not only would Cormier avenge his loss at UFC182 and score a win over a bitter rival, he'd also secure the biggest victory in his career.
If DC came out and beat this Jon Jones it would just be unbelievable. The thing is with a guy like Cormier, he’s been working so hard for so long and he’s such a good guy and such a talent. Not just in fighting and wrestling, but he’s an unbelievable on-air talent, too. A win over Jon Jones would be the biggest thing that’s ever happened to him.
UFC 197 takes place on Sat. Apr. 23, 2016 at the spiritual home of the UFC, Las Vegas, Nevada. Check out the fight card below:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
- Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones – for light heavyweight title
- Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo – for flyweight title
- Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Pettis
- Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker
- Andre Fili vs. Yair Rodriguez
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)
- Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele
- Juliana Lima vs. opponent TBA
- Glaico Franca vs. James Vick
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)
- Chris Kelades vs. Sergio Pettis
- Clint Hester vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
- Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee