Jon 'Bones' Jones regained his place in the top of the UFC light heavyweight division on Saturday July 29 after knocking out Daniel Cormier at UFC 214. With the UFC set to return to the Madison Square Garden in New York this November 4, Jones becomes the ideal fit for the main event in the pay-per-view.
With possibly no chance at all of Conor McGregor making a return to the venue he made history at UFC 205 last year, after whatever transpires in his multi-million boxing match with Floyd Mayweather on August 26, Jones no doubt becomes the next biggest draw.
The 30-year-old mixed martial arts star is starting his second life now in the sport. Everyone is hoping he shows the maturity that was reflected in his UFC 214 post-fight interview, in the rest of the days to come.
Jones starting anew
"In a way it feels like my first championship ever because I feel like it's a new beginning," mentioned Jones.
"I went through such a dark period with depression and everything else and now there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like I'm leaving my past behind me and I'm erasing everything I've ever done. It's the start of a new career and a new championship reign. I want to be a better champion than I was in the past and be the champion the fans deserve.
"I feel like the best is yet to come for me," Jones added. "I feel I'm in my mental and physical prime and the best is ahead of me. That should be real scary for the rest of the division."
Jones had oodles of respect for Cormier, he accepted his wrongdoings and pledged to leave his negative past behind. He also called out Brock Lesnar for a potential super-fight in the future that definitely has the potential to be a huge draw.
Enter Brock Lesnar
However, can Lesnar make his return to the octagon at UFC 217 in the Madison Square Garden?
The answer is no, for now.
Although Lesnar did respond saying: "Be careful what you wish for young man", fact remains that Lensar's previous drug test fails, stands in the path of his UFC 217 return.
Lesnar retired from MMA this year after failing two drug tests before and after his UFC 200 fight against Mark Hunt. His win was set to a no-contest and the USADA banned him from competing for a year.
After serving the ban for a year, Lesnar has to re-enter USADA's testing program to receive a green signal for an UFC return.
Mathematically, that could see him returning to the octagon somewhere in March next year.
"The reality of it happening anytime soon is not a reality," said UFC President Dana White of a possible Lesnar-Jones super-fight.
Alexander 'The Mauler' Gustafsson is in the prime of his career and a potential match-up with Jones at UFC 217 will no doubt be a blockbuster. The Swede is a striker-par-excellence and he produced a sensational show at an UFC Fight Night event in May this year, when he took out Glover Teixeira.
Gustafsson was swift to call out Jones after his UFC 214 fight against Cormier, and MMA fans too feel that the Swede should be given the opportunity to compete for the belt.
The last time Jones and Gustafsson fought at UFC 165 in September 2013, the bout went on to be awarded the Fight of the Night.
UFC 217 fight card
So far, a big match-up could be on the cards already for the Madison Square Garden event. Michael Bisping's much-anticipated fight with Georges St-Pierre (GSP) is finally set to see the light of the day.
Confirmed with sources that Bisping vs GSP has been agreed to for MSG on 11/4. Should be signed in the coming days.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 30, 2017
Comment below: Who do you want to see Jones fight at UFC 217?