Recently Dana White let it be known that Jon Jones can fight Daniel Cormier in late July if he’s ready, but Jimi Manuwa’s advising “Bones” against it….
Following Cormier’s successful title defence at UFC 210 earlier this month, there’s been a lot of talk as to who is next for the light-heavyweight champ. Since Jones’ suspension will end in early July, White has said the former champ can fight “DC” at UFC 214, July 29th, if he wishes.
But, if Jones decides he needs more time, the consensus is that Manuwa will fight Cormier next. As a result, the heavy handed fighter recently said this on ESPN’s Five Round Podcast (quote via MMA Mania):
“I didn’t want [Jones] to kind of jump in line,” Manuwa said. “I’ve been working hard, knocking people out. I believe I deserve the title shot. He’s the greatest of all time, but he’s been off a year, two years. He needs a warm-up fight and he knows he needs a warm-up fight. It will bother me, but at the end of the day, it won’t determine what I’m going to do. I’ve got options.”
It’s kind of hard to imagine Jones taking a “warm-up” fight, even if it might be advisable. After all, Cormier is his greatest rival, so what would it say if “Bones” conceded he needed to fight someone else, of lesser ability, first?
What could happen, however, is that Jones elects to push his return until the fall. If that happens, then Cormier – Manuwa could be next.
Manuwa, meanwhile, knocked out Corey Anderson in March to record his second straight win, since he was stopped by Johnson in 2015.