The rematch is finally happening. MMA fighters Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier are preparing to shoot the fair one on Saturday, July 29 at UFC 214.
Coming from two walks of life, they have met in the octagon with Jones winning and Cormier ready for a second bout. And after several false starts, the two will finally be able to determine the real champ this weekend.
But before the big fight, we break down how the bloody rivalry between the two fighters began.
Meet Jon Jones
Johnny Bones. The Rochester, N.Y. native made a name for himself after winning a light and heavyweight title in March 2011. At 23, he became the youngest champion in UFC history and cemented the beginning of a promising career. Before MMA, he was a standout wrestler in high school and a defensive lineman in college. But because of his small frame, he was simply known as Bones. His popularity in the ring has risen, but he’s taken plenty of hits elsewhere with constant legal issues. In 2015, he was involved in a hit and run and was on probation for 18 months. And back in 2012, he crashed his Bentley in upstate New York and caught a DUI charge. He’s dealt a few low blows in the ring as well— he’s got a few illegal elbows and has gained a reputation for poking his opponents in the eye.
Meet Daniel Cormier
Hailing from Louisiana, Cormier got his start as an Olympic wrestler and is considered one of the best MMA fighters of all time. After a fist fight in his high school parking lot, the wrestling coach broke up the scuffle and suggested Cormier join the team. He was eventually offered a scholarship to play football at LSU, but turned it down to pursue his wrestling dreams. Clearly making the right decision, he won his first professional MMA fight in 2009, by TKO. While repping the USA in the 2008 Olympics he was unable to compete due to kidney failure. No stranger to tragedy, Cormier’s dad was shot and killed when he was seven years old, and his three-month-old daughter Kaedyn was killed in a car accident on 2003.
It all started during a promo event for UFC 178, when Jones pressed his forehead against Cormier’s during a stare down— Cormier responded by pushing Jones by the throat. Jones was eventually fined $50,000 and did 40 hours of community service. Jones would go on to beat Cormier in 2015. The rematch was supposed to go down in July 2016 but Jones got caught up in a anti-doping scandal, which he blamed on erectile dysfunction medication. Allegations of Jones cheating and Cormier being an old man in a young gunner sport have been flung back and forth.
But on July 29, the storied rivalry might come to an end.