UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier revealed he would be happy to fight Jon Jones for a third time.
Jones was stripped of the title he won against Cormier at UFC 214 after the bout was ruled a no-contest following the former's failed drug test; the latter was subsequently reinstated as champion.
Speaking to TMZ, Cormier didn't rule out going up against his long-time rival again:
"That's the craziest thing about the whole situation," he said when asked about another showdown with Jones. "Competitively, he's beaten me twice. So yeah, of course. People think I'm insane for it."
While he made it clear he would step into the Octagon with Jones again, Cormier added that "respect and honor" for the sport would be of the "utmost importance" if they were to face off.
"This whole thing is just crazy," the 38-year-old continued. "It's unbelievable this is happening again."
Although Cormier and Jones have never seen eye-to-eye in the past, the former posted the following on Instagram recently, encouraging critics to relent:
MMA journalist Luke Thomas praised the light heavyweight champion's temperament in the aftermath of the no-contest ruling:
Luke Thomas @lthomasnews
Cormier's moral clarity is stunning. Forget fighters. I don't know many people who have that kind of awareness and ability to act on it.2017-9-15 21:34:52
In the cage at UFC 214, Jones stopped Cormier in the third round with a kick to the head and a flurry of punches. However, 24 days on, the UFC confirmed the United States Anti-Doping Agency had identified a potential violation in one of Jones' samples.
On Sept. 13, it was noted his "B" sample also contained a banned substance.
The fight in July was a much-anticipated rematch of the meeting between the duo at UFC 182 in 2015, which Jones won via unanimous decision. Previously, they were set to meet at the flagship UFC 200 event in 2016, but Jones was replaced by Anderson Silva at the last minute following another failed test.
Cormier's defeat to Jones in 2015 remains the only loss on his professional MMA record.