Former UFC light heavyweight champ, Jon Jones, is set to take on Ovince Saint Preux this Saturday at UFC 197, but that doesn't mean he's not thinking about the next fight already. Specifically, participating in the historic UFC 200 event.
Jones' fight with OSP will be his grand return to the cage after being suspended for his involvement in a felony hit-and-run in 2015. Now that his suspension has been lifted, a focused, more sober Jones is ready to get back to work. That means fighting whoever the UFC wants him to fight, WHENever the UFC wants him to fight.
While participating in the UFC 197 open workouts on Wednesday, Jones told ESPN.com that he would definitely fill in and fight at UFC 200 if things with OSP work out in his favor.
UFC 200 was sent into a bit of turmoil this week when Conor McGregor, scheduled to fight Nate Diaz in the main event, threw a tantrum and "retired," only to un-retire and claim that he didn't want to do a press event to promote the event. UFC president, Dana White, has since scrapped the rematch with Diaz, which means UFC 200 is going to need a main event.
Jones is ready:
Absolutely, I would totally step in to UFC 200 and fill in that main event or co-main event slot.
If it did happen, it would also give him the interesting distinction of being the only person to have fought at both UFC 100 and UFC 200.
"Is there anybody else who fought at both?" Jones wondered. "I would love to be the only guy to fight at UFC 100 and 200."
Jones' long-time rival Daniel Cormier, should be healed and 100% ready to fight by the July 9 UFC 200 date. As it turns out, that's what seems to be on Cormier's mind too. Cormier told the MMA Hour earlier this month:
If they're telling me in 4-6 weeks I'm supposed to be better, that would leave me with 10-12 weeks to train for UFC 200, I could be ready to fight then.
Cormier also hinted that it would depend on Jones given the fact that he's fighting this Saturday.
The only thing with that is, it's a little scary because Jon is fighting in April. I don't know if he will be willing to turn around and fight right back again three months later. If he would, I'd love to run it back with him any time in the summer late summer, early summer, it doesn't matter.
It seems as if Cormier is assuming that his next fight is going to be with Jones, regardless of what happens at UFC 197 and it's clear that Jones is confident he'll be able to fight. Soooooooo...
Pretty sure the UFC just got their main event.