Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier II announced as new UFC 200 main event; three title fights set for July 9

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Jon Jones (photo credit Jayne Kamin-Oncea © USA Today)

UFC 200 has its new headliner, and it will be the rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

UFC President Dana White made the announcement Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”

Jones and Cormier met in January of 2015 at UFC 182 after injury delayed their originally planned September 2014 bout, and Jones wound up defeating Cormier in a clear decision. Jones was then slated to defend the title last May against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, only to be pulled from that bout and stripped of the belt after he fled the scene of an accident he caused in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Cormier stepped in to fight for the vacant title in Jones’ absence, submitting Johnson in the third round. A title defense over Alexander Gustafsson in the fall would follow while he awaited Jones.

The two were then set to face off for the belt last weekend at UFC 197 in Jones return to the cage, but a leg injury forced Cormier off the event. Jones remained, defeating Ovince Saint Preux in the main event to take the Interim Light Heavyweight Championship.

The spot on UFC 200 opened up earlier this month when a supposed dispute over media obligations saw Conor McGregor pulled from the event. With this new main event in place, that’s likely to remain the situation moving forward.

UFC 200 now features three title fights, with Jones-Cormier II headlining above Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes for the Women’s Bantamweight Championship, and Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar II for the Interim Featherweight Championship. The event airs live on pay-per-view on July 9.

Penick’s Analysis: This is a significant fight, and the card itself is very good in a vacuum, but it’s lacking (and was even with Diaz-McGregor) for the UFC’s supposedly historic 200th numbered event (which is actually it’s 199th due to Jones…). They’ve also cost themselves a chunk of pay-per-view buys with this fight in over McGregor, because as good as the fight is, Jones isn’t their biggest money draw on pay-per-view, and his “safe” win over Saint Preux won’t have made anyone change their minds on him if they weren’t huge fans before. That said, he’s likely to be much better in this fight, and the sound bytes between he and Cormier from now until July could certainly give things a boost. We’ll see how things shake out come late July, but this was as good a replacement as the UFC was going to be able to find with Georges St-Pierre an unrealistic option.

[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]

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5 Comments on Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier II announced as new UFC 200 main event; three title fights set for July 9

  1. It’s not 199th due to Jones. The UFC had UFC 7.5 (Ultimate Ultimate 1995), 11.5 (Ultimate Ultimate 2), UFC 15.5 (UFC Japan), UFC 17.5 (UFC Brazil), and UFC 37.5.

    Also, UFC cancelled UFC 156 (Jones) but also UFC 176 (Aldo Mendes 2)

    If anything it’s UFC 203.

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