This weekend, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones will fight Daniel Cormier in an attempt by the former to win back a title he never lost (in the Octagon).
(Images courtesy of Sherdog.com)
But unexpectedly, the rumored potential return of WWE star and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar has formed a cloud over Jones vs Cormier.
Some suggest that if Jon Jones regains his belt, he could potentially fight Lesnar in what would be one of the biggest fights in MMA history.
However, there are a couple of potential obstacles at play.
Brock Lesnar was suspended a full year stemming from a failed drug test from is last fight against Mark Hunt in July 2016. Following the suspension, Lesnar subsequently retired from UFC in January so, per USADA, he would have to serve the remainder of his suspension (6 months) if he un-retires.According to Yahoo Sports, Lesnar wouldn't be available until February 7th, 2018 - Seven months away. However, and in all fairness, Jones would certainly want (or need) time to prepare himself physically for a true 265 pounder like Lesnar.
Potential issue: Would Jones and Lesnar even agree to the fight?
Greg Beacham of the Associated Press reached out to Lesnar last week and asked if he'd fight Jon Jones if the former returned to UFC.
“Would I fight Jon Jones?” Lesnar said, repeating Beacham’s question. “Anytime. Anywhere. Right now he should be worried about [Cormier] on Saturday night.”
It was a very interesting response because Brock rarely speaks to the media. In fact, some say he despises it.
So why would he, at the epicenter of rumors circulating of his possible return to MMA, start speaking to the media?
As usual with Lesnar, the answer lies within his contract status with WWE. Lesnar has a renewal option for his contract in 2018 but may choose to not restart his contract with the famed wrestling organization which expires in April.
As result, he has a window to negotiate a contract with the WWE while using his potential return to UFC as bargaining leverage.
After a few years of playing this game, Lesnar, of course, returned to UFC last year to collect a handsome sum for fighting Mark Hunt.Thus, a potential superfight with Jones may not only prompt Lesnar's re-return to MMA, it may create a bidding war between UFC and WWE with the ultimate winner being Brock Lesnar.
If Lesnar is indeed serious of returning to UFC, Jones vs Lesnar is a fight the mma outfit will desperately try to make. And if Jones regains the UFC Light Heavyweight title Saturday night, there would be only one other significant fight people would be interested in, a Jones rematch with Alexander Gustafsson. Aside from that fight and a possible showdown with Lesnar, there aren't any interesting opponents on the horizon for Jones.
Even though Jones, officially, hasn't been champion for nearly 2 years, he has virtually cleaned the division so a move to heavyweight would make sense. And let’s not forget, Jones hasn't fought in 18 months, and only twice in the last three years. Needless to say, he’s probably looking for a big pay day.And given Brock one of the hottest attractions in MMA and still arguably one of the top 5 MMA heavyweights in the world, Lesnar vs Jones would be a massive money-maker for UFC.
Lesnar vs Jones would be the perfect fight at the perfect time for both guys, and may be well worth the wait.
Of course, and once again, Jones does have to win his belt back this weekend against the super-tough Cormier for any of this to come to fruition.