Oddsmakers seemingly expect history to repeat itself if Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier write a third chapter to their epic rivalry sometime in 2019.
Following a dominant return to the cage over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232, light heavyweight champion Jones opened as decisive betting favorite over Cormier in a potential trilogy match. Jones started off as more than a 2-to-1 favorite (-265) to once again defeat his rival, according to odds posted this week by online sportsbook Bovada. Cormier, the reigning UFC heavyweight champion, opened as a +205 betting underdog.
The two titleholders have obviously met before. Jones defeated Cormier in Jan. 2015 via unanimous decision, then knocked the Olympian out via third-round head kick in the July 2017 rematch. The latter bout was ultimately overturned into a no contest after Jones tested positive for the anabolic steroid oral turinabol. Following his UFC 232 victory, Jones called out Cormier to come back down to 205 pounds for a trilogy fight.
Oddsmakers also opened betting lines on two other potential Jones bouts, both of which would be against former UFC heavyweight champions: Brock Lesnar and Stipe Miocic. Bovada opened Jones (-350) as a heavy favorite to defeat Lesnar (+265), while internet sportsbook BetOnline opened Jones (-160) as a slight favorite to defeat Miocic (+140).
Jones, 31, has not suffered a true defeat in his mixed martial arts career. His 17-1 UFC record includes victories over Cormier, Gustafsson (x2), Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, Lyoto Machida, Quinton Jackson, Rashad Evans, and Mauricio Rua, among others. His lone loss over the stretch came via disqualification in a controversial 2009 match against Matt Hammill that Jones was dominating.
Updated betting lines for potential Jones bouts in 2019 can be seen below.
Jon Jones -265
Daniel Cormier +205
Jon Jones -350
Brock Lesnar +265
Jon Jones -160
Stipe Miocic +140