Jon Jones set to rescue UFC 200 after Conor McGregor’s retirement
Former lightweight champion may be lined up to face Daniel Cormier in rescheduled bout
Jon Jones could replace Conor McGregor as the main event at UFC 200. Photograph: Getty
Jon Jones has confirmed he is ready to come to the rescue at UFC 200 after Conor McGregor was removed from the card this week in the wake of the Irishman’s apparent retirement from the sport.
The former light heavyweight champion Jones, who on Saturday night will face Ovince Saint Preux in the main event at UFC 197, may be lined up to face the current title holder Daniel Cormier in a contest that was due to take place this week until injury forced the champion to pull out. “Absolutely. I’d totally step in to UFC 200 and fill in that main event slot,” Jones told Fox Sports.
McGregor’s supposed retirement remains clouded in mystery but the UFC president, Dana White, moved quickly after the Irishman caused confusion on Tuesday when he sent a tweet saying: “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.” White cited McGregor’s reluctance to promote his 9 July bout rematch with Nate Diaz as the reason for his withdrawal and promised that Diaz would be booked with a new fight for UFC 200 while saying that he would add another marquee bout to fill the slot vacated by McGregor’s absence.
Should Jones prevail against Saint Preux, a clash with Cormier would fit the bill, not least because Jones also fought at UFC 100 in 2009. “Is there anybody else on both? I would love to be the first guy to fight at UFC 100 and 200,” said Jones, who would actually be joined by the lightweight Jim Miller in fighting at both events.