More than a year after Jon Jones defeated Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision at UFC 182 to defend his light heavyweight title, the two are slated for a rematch on April 23 in Las Vegas with Cormier now in possession of the belt, according to MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani.
UFC confirmed the tilt on Twitter on Saturday night:
#UFC197 @dc_mma vs @JonnyBones @MightyMouseUFC vs @HenryCejudo 4.23.16 at @MGMGrand #YesPlease 🙌🏽👊🏽👌🏽 https://t.co/vTupH3R9sO2016-2-7 04:05:33
Jones was stripped of his light heavyweight belt last April and suspended indefinitely due to his involvement in a felony hit-and-run incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 28-year-old didn't serve jail time, but he was ordered to serve up to 18 months of supervised probation, per MMAJunkie.com's Steven Marrocco.
UFC 182 was the last time Jones stepped into the Octagon, but he hinted at a rematch with the 36-year-old Cormier in a since-deleted social media post, according to the Associated Press (via the Guardian).
Although Cormier came up empty in his light heavyweight showdown with Jones at UFC 182, he snagged the vacant title with a win over Anthony Johnson by submission in the third round of their bout at UFC 187 last May.
Cormier followed up his win over Johnson with a split-decision victory against Alexander Gustafsson on Oct. 3 at UFC 192.
Following that victory, Cormier reiterated he was interested in a rematch with Jones, but not if it came in the challenger's home state of New York.
"Why should I allow this guy to go and fight where he's comfortable?" Cormier said following UFC 192, per MMAFighting.com's Marc Raimondi. "No, he has to go somewhere where he has to look at people in the eyes and hear the anger they have toward him for the actions that he did."
Now Cormier will get his wish, with the two sides set to meet at the MGM Grand in Sin City in just over two months.
Since Jones hasn't traded blows in a competitive setting since his last meeting with Cormier, a rematch should provide the former champion a chance to repair his image and climb toward the pinnacle of his weight class once again.