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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 17 December, 2018

Jones to return in December as Cormier set to be stripped of light-heavyweight belt

Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson will meet again at UFC 232.

Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson squaring off at the weigh-in for their fight at UFC 165.
Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson squaring off at the weigh-in for their fight at UFC 165.
Image: Mark Blinch

JON JONES (22-1) WILL return to competitive mixed martial arts before the year is out.

Jones, the former light-heavyweight champion, will have a chance to regain the 205-pound title in a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson (18-4) in Las Vegas on 29 December.

That’s according to a report from the ever-reliable Ariel Helwani of ESPN, which states that Daniel Cormier will be stripped of the light-heavyweight belt.

Cormier, who became just the second simultaneous two-weight champion in UFC history earlier this year, is to focus on his reign as heavyweight champion. His first defence of that title is set for 3 November, when he’ll face Derrick Lewis at Madison Square Garden.

Jones has been out of action since defeating Cormier in July 2017. The result was later overturned and the 31-year-old was stripped of the belt when he tested positive for the anabolic steroid turinabol. Currently serving a 15-month ban, Jones is eligible to fight again from 28 October.

Welcoming him back to the octagon will be old foe Gustafsson. At UFC 165 in September 2013, the Swede lost to Jones via unanimous decision in what is generally regarded as one of the greatest bouts ever to take place in the UFC.

The rematch will headline UFC 232 at the T-Mobile Arena.

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Paul Dollery

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