Jon Jones has officially been stripped of his UFC light heavyweight championship. Daniel Cormier has been reinstated as champion. The news was announced on Wednesday’s version of “UFC Tonight” on Fox Sports 1.
Jones defeated Cormier at UFC 214 via a third round TKO to recapture the light heavyweight title. Unfortunately for Jones the celebration did not last as he was flagged by the USADA for failing his blood test. On Tuesday it was reported that Jones’ “B” sample from the UFC 214 test came back positive as well and less than 24 hours later he was stripped of his title. The California State Athletic Commission, where UFC 214 took place, has overturned Jones’ victory and it is now officially ruled a “No Contest”.
Cormier broke down the conversation he had with UFC president Dana White about returning the title back to him, “Dana White called me today, and he said if it’s a no-contest then the fight didn’t happen. He says, ‘One of you guys would’ve missed weight, and he would’ve won the fight, you still would’ve kept the belt.’ He said, ‘Because of that, the championship is getting returned to you. The fight is a no-contest. If he cheated, he could not have fought and cheated and still won the fight.’ So, once again, I’m the UFC champion.”
The UFC will have to go back to the drawing board to find a challenger for Cormier to face. Cormier has already defeated top contender Alexander Gustafsson and sent Anthony “Rumble” Johnson into retirement. With no other light heavyweight in the UFC making a splash, Cormier will have a hard time selling the division to a pay-per-view audience.
Cormier addressed the fact that some people may see his reinstatement as a “gimme” by the UFC, “Now, people will say stuff like, ‘Well, you got handed the belt. He [Jones] cheated, and the reality is, for me to say I don’t want this title when I was going to be in championship fight anyways, financially it’s just a big difference if I don’t fight as the champion as opposed to fighting for a vacant title. I’m taking the belt.”
At the end of the day it is all about earning a paycheck and as a UFC champion, Cormier will not doubt make more money than if he was not.