Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Former longtime UFC champion Jon "Bones" Jones is making his highly-anticipated return to face Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 232 on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas with the vacant light heavyweight championship on the line.
That hasn't stopped Jones from issuing a strong challenge to a familiar rival.
Jones took to social media Wednesday night and addressed UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier's recent comments on a podcast, while also stating his need for a third fight.
"Fight me one more time and prove you're actually the champ," Jones wrote on Twitter. "I'll donate $100,000 to a charity in San Diego if you accept. Conor McGregor was an actual double champ, the whole world knows your claim is a freaking joke. You're more than welcome to be my first title defense."
Fight me one more time and prove you’re actually the champ champ. I’ll donate $100,000 to a charity in San Diego if you accept. Conor McGregor was an actual double Champ, the whole world knows your claim is a freaking joke. You’re more than welcome to be my first title defense— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 20, 2018
Cormier, who is the current holder of the light heavyweight and heavyweight belts, will vacate the light heavyweight crown when Jones and Gustafsson challenge for the title. Cormier will remain atop the heavyweight ranks as current champion of the division.
The heated rivalry between Jones and Cormier began in 2015 when Jones won by unanimous decision. The two fighters squared off again at UFC 214 in July 2017 when Jones knocked out Cormier to win the light heavyweight title.
Jones' championship victory did not come without controversy, though.
"Pinch of salt, no pinch of salt. You still had steroids in your system in a fist fight," Cormier stated earlier this week. "Not cool."
“Pinch of salt, no pinch of salt. You still had steroids in your system in a fist fight,” Cormier stated. “Not cool.”— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 20, 2018
Daddys baby still out there whining, What proud “double Champion” just vacates his belt because someone else returns to the sport? 😩
The "salt" reference from Cormier refers to their last fight in 2017 when Jones won via knockout, but was subsequently stripped of the belt after he failed a drug test related to the fight.
An independent arbitrator declared Jones unknowingly cheated, and Jones later estimated the traces of steroids found in his system was comparable to a "pinch of salt" in an "Olympic-size swimming pool."
The USADA slammed Jones with a 15-month suspension over the drug test and Cormier regained the title as a result. He went on to defeat Stipe Miocic in July 2018 to become a two-division champion.
Cormier has not responded to Jones and previously stated his plan is to defend his heavyweight championship and then retire from the sport before his 40th birthday on March 20, 2019.
Jones and Gustafsson meet for the second time at UFC 232. Jones won the first fight in October 2015 by split decision.