Dana White: Jon Jones vs. Anthony Johnson targeted for May
It appears Jon "Bones" Jones’ next title defense against Anthony "Rumble" Johnson will happen sooner rather than later.
UFC president Dana White confirmed during a Wednesday appearance on the Jim Rome Show that they are targeting a May date for the light heavyweight title fight between Jones and Johnson.
"We’re looking to do that fight in May," White said. "I don’t have the exact date, but May."
The news all fits recent reports that the original fight the UFC had talked about for the May pay-per-view card — a featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor — was going to get pushed back to a summer date.
With Aldo-McGregor delayed, it appears the UFC is ready to pull the trigger on the Jones-Johnson title fight for the UFC 187 fight card, which is currently scheduled for May 23.
The May shows are traditionally one of the bigger cards for the UFC each year as the promotion always targets a date around Memorial Day weekend with Las Vegas as the typical destination.
Jones would return to action just over five months removed from his last title defense where he defeated Daniel Cormier by unanimous decision at UFC 182 on January 3. After the bout it was revealed that Jones had tested positive for cocaine metabolites about a month before the fight.
In an exclusive interview with FOX Sports 1, Jones accepted responsibility for the positive test.
"I’m not here to make excuses for what happened. I did it," Jones said. "Basically at a party, and I think a coward would sit here and come up with this elaborate reason or try to blame something. I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to blame my friends. I’m not going to blame pressure or stress or anything. What I will say is I messed up. It wasn’t a mistake. I can’t call it a mistake because I consciously did it."
Meanwhile, Johnson earned his shot at the gold by knocking out Alexander Gustafsson this past weekend at FOX UFC Fight Night from Sweden.
Clearly no contracts have been signed for the contest, but a Jones-Johnson main event could end up being one of the biggest matchups of the entire year.