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Morning Report: Dana White says Jon Jones will likely get an immediate title shot upon his return from suspension

Unstoppable press conference photos
Dana White and Jon Jones
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Stop me if you’ve heard this before, Dana White appears to have changed his mind.

Back in November, UFC President Dana White went on a Sirius XM town hall with Jim Rome where he said, “I would never take the risk of headlining a show with Jon Jones again.” This statement came on the heels of Jones receiving a one-year suspension from USADA for his failed drug tests leading up to UFC 200.

But now White seems to be singing a different tune. While speaking with the UFC Unfiltered podcast recently, White said he expects Jon Jones will challenge for the UFC light heavyweight title for his first fight back from suspension.

“Jon Jones is supposed to return around July so the timing is perfect. I haven’t talked to him. I have not talked to Jon Jones since the whole incident [at UFC 200]. Depending on where Jon’s head is and where he thinks he is, I would assume he would come right back and try to get his title back,” White said.

Jones is eligible to return to fighting this July which will mark over two years since Jones has held the UFC light heavyweight title. After Jones was stripped of the title and suspended by the UFC, Daniel Cormier defeated Anthony Johnson to become the UFC light heavyweight champion. As Jones has been beset by outside the cage issues, Cormier has defended the belt once and is now set to rematch “Rumble” Johnson this April at UFC 210, with the winner apparently looking at a Jones match up for later in the summer.

Coincidentally, April will also mark one year since Jones last competed, a unanimous decision win over Ovince Saint Preux for the interim title belt. That bout was originally supposed to be a title fight against Cormier as Jones’ return bout, but an injury forced the champion out, resulting in Jones taking a short notice, interim bout. Jones now appears to be set for the same type of immediate title shot and White says that’s because anything else doesn’t really make sense for Jones.

“The problem with this sport, there is no light one. If you’re going to go in there and give it, at least go in and try to get your belt back. It’s like everyone was saying Ronda should have had a tune up [fight]. There are no tune-up fights. When you break into the top five in the world, everybody’s nasty. Everybody’s nasty. What you don’t want to do is lose to somebody [ranked] 8, 9, 10. It knocks you right out of the top 10 and it doesn’t make sense.”

Considering Jones is one of the UFC’s biggest stars, it certainly doesn’t. With Conor McGregor focused on boxing, Jones versus the winner of Cormier-Johnson is likely one of the biggest pay-per-views the UFC will do next year. If nothing else derails it beforehand, that is.


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Kind of wild to realize Jon Jones has missed two years of his prime. If none of this extracurricular stuff had happened, he might already be the heavyweight champion.

Hope everyone has a good one. Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.

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.

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