Jon Jones returns to the cage next week at UFC 197 for the first time since UFC 182 last January, and if he beats Ovince St. Preux in that main event he’ll set up the rematch with Daniel Cormier for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
During a media conference call for UFC 197 on Friday, Jones talked about the Cormier fight in the context of the UFC announcing the Nov. 12 pay-per-view in New York City at Madison Square Garden, and why he doesn’t expect Cormier to fight him there.
“I would be honored to main event against Daniel Cormier at Madison Square Garden. The question is will Daniel Cormier accept that fight?” Jones said (via FoxSports.com). “You know Daniel Cormier obviously, he’s having a lot of mental struggles when it comes to me.
“That’s just one more thing that he doesn’t need. I’m sure he doesn’t want to fight me in my backyard because he needs all the mental breaks he can get… Who knows. I doubt he’d fight me at Madison Square Garden. But like I said, I’ll fight him wherever – Oklahoma State wrestling room, his living room, wherever.”
Penick’s Analysis: Cormier’s already said he didn’t want to fight Jones in New York because he didn’t think Jones “deserved” to get a gentler reaction in his return in front of a partisan crowd. Now, that may change with the historic nature of the event in November, and the fact that Jones is returning first next week in Las Vegas. However, Cormier also said he’s not wanting to wait until November to return, so we’ll see whether or not that fight comes together sooner or not. Regardless, it seems clear the back and forth between Jones and Cormier won’t be dying down anytime soon.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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