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Jon Jones’ suspension is a blessing in disguise




Now former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones made history yesterday by becoming the first UFC to champion to have his title stripped for violating the athlete code of conduct policy. After his fight against Daniel Cormier earlier this year being responsible for the biggest PPV buyrate since 2013, a lot of money is being left on the table for both the UFC and Jon Jones during what will be a much-needed indefinite break from the sport that has made him a superstar. So, what does this mean for the current state of what has historically been the most popular division in the UFC? Enter Daniel Cormier.

Let’s be honest – Jones versus Cormier doesn’t do 800K buys without Cormier. As a life long pro wrestling fan, Cormier has mastered the art of the promo. He’s in the same league as Chael Sonnen, Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping when it comes to selling a fight. And while a fight between him and Johnson doesn’t quite have the allure as a fight between Jones and Johnson – being that Jones is..errr…was the top P4P fighter in the world – it still sells heaps of pay-per-views. Oh yeah, it doesn’t hurt that a middleweight title fight between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort happens to be your co-main event.

I’ll be waiting on the other side with my championship and he can actually challenge me for it. – Cormier to Kenny Florian and Michael Bisping after hearing the big news

What the UFC is really banking on though is a Cormier win at UFC 187. They’ll never admit it, just like the won’t admit that they’re praying for McGregor to beat Aldo. To once again steal a phrase from “The Authority,” it’s just what’s “Best for Business,” and as long as he can avoid Johnson’s power in the early rounds – easier said than done – Cormier gets it done.

At the end of the day, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is who he is. At the core of Anthony Johnson, Anthony’s the guy that got submitted by Josh Koscheck. Anthony’s the guy who tapped out before Vitor Belfort had a choke in. At the core of him he is who he is and I just gotta go and find that. Kenny Florian, if you told me a few years ago that I’d fight Anthony Johnson for a UFC championship, I would say package the belt up and send it to San Jose. – DC

A rematch with Cormier as champion against a lean, mean and hopefully clean Jones could easily break 1 million. You already have tons of footage between these “Bitter Rivals,” and you’ve flipped the script without Jones ever really being beaten by anyone in his professional career – except for himself and Steve Mazzagatti of course.

Jon did this to himself. The belt is not his anymore. This [fight against “Rumble” Johnson] is for the UFC Light heavyweight championship. – DC

What we have here is a blessing in disguise if everything works out according to planned. If Cormier can beat Johnson, and more importantly if Jones can get himself on the straight and narrow, we’re looking at the most anticipated rematch since Weidman-Silva II – the last PPV to do over 1 million buys. The only thing that can get in the way is Anthony Johnson’s fists and Jones putting himself behind the wheel after making more life altering decisions.

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