White considering Jones-Johnson to determine Cormier challenger
Anthony Johnson might have to "Rumble" one more time before getting a rematch with Daniel Cormier.
Despite Johnson beating Glover Teixeira in 13 seconds at UFC 202 on Saturday to record his third straight knockout win, UFC president Dana White isn't handing him a light heavyweight title shot just yet. In fact, White told the UFC Unfiltered podcast that he sees Johnson fighting interim champion Jon Jones first.
"You know what man, I'm in a weird place," White said, according to Jim Edwards of FloCombat. "I saw that fight and it was a great fight but I've still got to talk to (matchmaker) Joe Silva and see what he thinks. I'm thinking that maybe we do Anthony Johnson versus Jon Jones to see who gets to fight Daniel Cormier."
Any upcoming fight with Jones is dependent on a successful appeal for his doping violation that was reported on July 6, three days before he was set to fight Cormier in the main event at UFC 200. Jones was removed from that card and is currently on provisional suspension.
His team has blamed a tainted supplement for the out-of-competition test failure. They are aiming to have the maximum penalty - a two-year suspension - reduced to six months, which would make Jones eligible to fight again in early 2017.
White sounds like he's bullish on Jones' chances.
"I've not talked to Jon but the guy has got 13 lives, man," White said. "It's looking good for him. He's got to deal with Nevada right now and this thing that went down and I can't say a lot about it because it's not my place. We will see how this thing plays out but it's looking good for him."
As for Johnson, fighting Jones would be a bitter pill to swallow, considering he's dismissed the possibility in recent interviews. Rumble is instead focused on a second shot at Cormier.
The two first fought last year for the vacant light heavyweight title, after Jones was stripped due to his involvement in a hit-and-run. Cormier defeated Johnson by third-round submission.