The fight that could have been was just three weeks away from today.
If not for an unfortunate knee injury to the champion, we'd all be three weeks away from the best pay-per-view card of the year. Alas, the injury did happen, and the best thing we can all do is accept it and wait for the champion and challenger to heal up nicely.
Two weeks removed from surgery to repair his injured knee, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is back in the gym.
Jones posted a video on his Instagram profile earlier captioned "Two weeks after knee surgery..Phil4:13." The video shows Jones land two kicks and one low-flying knee.
Jones' light heavyweight title tilt with Daniel Cormier was rescheduled for Jan. 3 after the champion hurt his knee while wrestling with Jackson's MMA teammate Alistair Overeem last month.
"It's part of the game, it wasn't like ... somebody went for a flying kick and dislocated [something]," Jones' coach Greg Jackson told Sherdog.com. "Somebody went for a takedown, [Jones] stepped the wrong way, twisted the wrong way and down he went. He was fighting it, and he just twisted it. And then it just popped."
The injury came as terrible news to the MMA community, most of which was already accounting for UFC 178 in monthly budgets. This was a fight most wanted to see, save for the Alexander Gustafsson faithful.
After the infamous Jones-Cormier brawl in which UFC executive Dave Sholler ended up as collateral damage, this was a fight everyone had to see.
Seeing Jones back in the gym while he kicks the bag in a relatively gingerly manner is reason enough to be excited for January bout—Jones will be ready, Cormier will be ready, and, rest assured, fans will be ready.
Kristian Ibarra is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. He also serves as the sports editor at San Diego State University's student-run newspaper, The Daily Aztec. Follow him on Twitter at @Kristian_Ibarra for all things MMA.