Report: UFC pursued Jones-Cormier 3 heavyweight title bout

UFC president Dana White is now working on booking a Jon Jones-Alexander Gustafsson fight, but before he got to that matchup, the promotion pursued a Jones-versus-Daniel Cormier heavyweight title bout,

according to ESPN's Ariel Helwani.

With Jones eligible to begin competing again as of Oct. 28, the UFC first targeted a light heavyweight title fight at UFC 230 between Gustafsson and Yoel Romero and a heavyweight championship fight between Jones and Cormier at UFC 232 in December.

However, both Jones and Cormier told the UFC they preferred a fight at light heavyweight, Helwani reports, which altered the promotion's initial plans.

It's a significant development considering the bitter history between Jones and Cormier. They've fought on two prior occasions and had two scheduled bouts canceled at the 11th hour.

Jones won both meetings, including a third-round KO of Cormier at UFC 214 last July, but the bout was ruled a no contest when Jones tested positive for a banned substance.

Since then, Cormier won both the light heavyweight title and the heavyweight title and said his focus had shifted to a big-money fight with Brock Lesnar.