Jimi Manuwa Says Jon Jones "Knows he Needs a Warm-up Fight"

Demetrious Johnson flips

'Cormier is available to fight on July 8, but that time-frame doesn't work for Jon Jones, ' White told ESPN. One-hundred percent-if Jones wants a welcome party back to the UFC, then I'm happy to do that.

If Jones ultimately decides not to take the fight, Cormier will face heavy-handed British slugger Jimi Manuwa instead as he looks to defend his light heavyweight title for the third time.

If Jones is in favor of taking a fight before he comes back to challenge for the title, Gustafsson would be more than happy to welcome him back to the fold.

Manuwa vs Cormier and Gustafsson vs Jones? Jones has hinted that he might not want to jump immediately into a title fight upon his return, but there is already a Plan B, as No. 3 ranked UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa has been trying to get a fight with Cormier.

Jones (22-1) has not fought since earning a lackluster decision win over Ovince Saint-Preux at UFC 197 in April 2016, earning the promotion's interim title in the process.

For his part, Cormier will be ready to go again July 8, when UFC 213 is scheduled in Las Vegas.

Subsequently, the former champion was suspended for one year by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Jones (22-1 record in MMA) is now serving a one year suspension after testing positive for estrogen blockers last summer, with his return pinned for the second week of July.

While no announcement has been made, it certainly appears for now both Cormier and Manuwa are interested in a summer meeting.

But according to White, given the fact Jones has a less than stellar track record in recent years, he was in no rush to risk slotting Jones in another main event spot on a marquee event. White did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.

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