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Morning Report: Jon Jones picks Daniel Cormier to beat Anthony Johnson at UFC 206 but would rather fight 'Rumble'

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Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones says he would rather fight Anthony Johnson for the 205-pound belt so he can clean out the division.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jon Jones has returned in full, at least to social media.

After the longtime 205-pound champion was stripped of his title last year for his outside-the-cage actions, Jones' online presence became markedly less active. But recently, with his looming drug hearings, and the rematch between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson coming up at UFC 206, Jones has been posting frequently to Twitter and Instagram.

And despite the long history of bad blood between them and Jones taking shots at Cormier recently, Jones doesn't deny his rival's talent, picking Cormier to win the rematch with Johnson based on his overall MMA game.

Jones handed Cormier his first an only loss last January via competitive but dominant unanimous decision at UFC 182. Then when Jones was stripped, Cormier won the vacant light heavyweight belt by submitting Johnson in the third round of UFC 187. Cormier then defended the belt once against Alexander Gustafsson.

After sitting out for almost a year, Jones was supposed to make his return against Cormier at UFC at UFC 197 in April but Cormier was forced to withdraw from the bout with an injury and instead Jones faced Ovince Saint Preux for an interim title which Jones won. Jones and Cormier were then scheduled to main event UFC 200 but just days before the event Jones was removed from the card for failing a pre-fight USADA drug test.

Since then new information has come to light that Jones' failed tests were possibly the result of a tainted supplement which Jones' attorney says USADA has independently confirmed. Jones' arbitration is scheduled for today (October 31) wherein it will be determined how long he will be suspended, if at all.

If the reports of the tainted supplement are true, it seems likely that Jones will be back in action by early next year, likely against the winner of the UFC 206 main event. If this is the case, despite picking Cormier, Jones will be cheering for "Rumble" Johnson so he can kill two birds with one stone.

That type of thinking is still premature though. Even if his hearing with USADA goes well, Jones still has to clear one last hurdle before he can get back in the cage, a Nov. 10th hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The NSAC isn't beholden to whatever decision the USADA arbitration will yield and could well suspend Jones despite his tainted supplement explanation.

In the meantime, Jones' backing of Cormier did not go unnoticed by the current light heavyweight champion.

Whatever happens with his upcoming meetings, it's at least nice to have Jones back and active on social media, if not in the cage.

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LISTEN UP

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Three Amigos

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TWEETS

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Ouch. Odd to start this beef right here.

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Great response from JBJ here. He's starting to figure it out.

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Big indeed.

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And here is another Twitter beef that popped off.

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This one got a lot of love from MMA folk and really got under Nicholson's skin.

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Just an odd, incongruous response.

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Very solid costume.

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Stipe done started a movement.

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Heresy.

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Sage on that Matt Hughes training plan.

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It should be his.

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Damn.

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Shade

Funny wat u see in some stores

A photo posted by The Super Samoan (@markhuntfighter) on 

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Sneak attack.

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Looks pretty good for his first drop down.

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JJ on the mitts.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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N/A

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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

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2004: Wanderlei Silva KO'd Quinton Jackson for the second time to defend his Pride middleweight championship at Pride 28.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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And back in the saddle again. It's been a minute but we are back to fight week and this one kicks off a long stretch of events. Get hype everyone and happy Halloween.

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If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.