With a largely forgettable first half of 2017 in the rearview for the UFC, it's time to focus on the one card that has been circled on seemingly everyone's mixed martial arts calendar for months. 

Barring any last-minute injuries or drug suspensions -- the same pitfalls that have prevented their rematch from taking place multiple times -- light heavyweight elites Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones will headline Saturday's UFC 214 card from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

In one of the sport's greatest grudge matches, Cormier will defend the same 205-pound title Jones was stripped of with much at stake for both in terms of their legacies. But that's not the only storyline to keep watch of on Saturday, not since UFC went out of its way to stack this card in ways it failed to do for UFC 213 during International Fight Week. 

Here are the top 10 storylines to watch entering UFC 214.

1.Cormier's pursuit of greatness: At 38, DC isn't getting any younger. And despite a 19-1 record and four impressive defenses of his UFC title, he has never received universal acceptance as champion because of one reason: the Jon Jones-sized hole in his resume. Cormier dropped a competitive, yet convincing decision loss to Jones in 2015. If not for Jones' outside-the-cage issues, Cormier may not have ever worn gold in UFC. He can put that kind of talk behind him for good with a victory over Jones, allowing his legacy a chance at getting to a place it couldn't reach without it. If Cormier comes up empty, he'll have nothing to be ashamed of when he looks back on his career many years from now. A win, however, just might seal a shot at MMA immortality. 

2. At 30, Jones looks to redeem a lost two years: Fight fans tend to have a short memory for transgressions which happen outside of the cage. It's part of the reason why Jones -- despite arrests, admitted recreational drug use and a suspension for failing to declare sexual enhancement pills ahead of UFC 200 -- has retained his status as MMA's G.O.A.T. in the eyes of many fans. He may be a heel these days in pro wrestling terms, more willing to play the villain role in his rivalry with Cormier and open to discussing his flaws in matter of fact terms, but as long as he keeps winning his critical respect will remain intact. Jones' only appearance in the Octagon during his "lost two years" was a tentative decision win over late replacement Ovince Saint Preux in 2016. The "Bones" that fans knew and love simply didn't show up that night. The rematch with Cormier, the same guy Jones beat handily in 2015, offers the former champion an opportunity to pick up where he left off in terms of his in-cage legacy without missing a beat, despite what happened outside of it. 

3. Tyron Woodley fights for the respect that has alluded him: He may the reigning and defending UFC welterweight champion, but Woodley still remains largely on the outside looking in when it comes to commercial and critical attention. Many cried his title opportunity last July was unearned considering he was coming off an 18-month layoff. And despite the eye-catching ease in which he knocked out Robbie Lawler to win the belt, Woodley believed even his own employers -- the UFC -- failed to properly market him ahead of subsequent title defenses against Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson. Add in the fact that 10 rounds of fighting against Thompson produced largely inconclusive evidence that Woodley is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best welterweight in the world and you now have enough fuel for the champion to want to make a statement on Saturday against Demian Maia. A dominant victory should silence the critics, once and for all, at least until former champion Georges St.-Pierre comes knocking.

Woodley is still seeking respect. USATSI

4. Demian Maia — the last great specialist in MMA: Ask any fan for their choice of the greatest grappler and submission expert in history and Maia's name will quickly appear. Despite doing well to improve his striking deficiencies during a resurgent run at 170 pounds, Maia still enters every fight looking to do one thing: get his opponent to the ground and force him to tap. In some ways, he's the last of a dying breed of one-dimensional fighters in this day and age of modern, well-rounded fighters who come up the ladder training equally in every discipline. At 39, Maia also has a shot to remove himself from the list of greatest UFC fighters never to win gold inside the Octagon

5. There's only one way to fix the UFC women's featherweight debacle: … and that's with a Cris "Cyborg" Justino victory. We know that, UFC knows that and, heck, even late replacement and former Invicta FC champion Tonya Evinger likely knows that. Let's not forget, the women's 145-pound division was only created within UFC in the first place as a showcase for Justino to compete at her natural weight. The short-sighted decision to rush the division, however, forcing it into the main event of February's ultra-forgettable UFC 208 card in Brooklyn, New York, stained the idea before it could even get started. With Justino unable to be ready for February, Germaine de Randamie became arguably the most underwhelming champion in UFC history and was recently stripped of the belt for refusing to face Justino in a move that was highly panned as hypocritical by the promotion. That doesn't mean it was the wrong move, however. A victory by Justino on Saturday, which was the plan all along, is the only way to fix this unnecessary debacle. 

6. Third time could be the charm for Robbie Lawler-Donald Cerrone: If you're looking for an early pick for fight of the night potential, look no further than this welterweight tussle that has "all action" and "war" written all over. Originally booked for both UFC 205 last November and UFC 213 on July 8, the rescheduling of this fight to Saturday played a huge part in UFC 214 becoming a deep, can't-miss affair. Lawler, the former champion, hasn't fought since losing the belt to Woodley one year ago. Cerrone, meanwhile, has been his typical busy self, appearing three times since that fight. But "Cowboy" is coming off of a tough knockout defeat to Jorge Masvidal in January, his first since moving up to welterweight, and will likely need to dig deep against the larger Lawler. 

7. Jimi Manuwa has perfect showcase to line up title shot: The Englishman can bang with both hands and is fresh off a pair of knockout performances against Corey Anderson and Saint Preux. He can also talk a great game and nearly appeared close to securing a title shot against Cormier by jawing at the champion from the crowd after DC's victory at UFC 210 in April. The reality is that Manuwa is likely still one step away from the belt, even with a victory, when you consider a Cormier victory on Saturday likely sets up a Jones trilogy fight while a "Bones" win could put forth in motion a long-awaited second duel with Alexander Gustafsson. Stranger things have happened, however, and with last-minute injuries a constant plague in MMA, Manuwa, 37, can keep himself prime and ready for his shot if he looks impressive opposite Volkan Oezdemir. 

Manuwa has a chance to make a name for himself on Saturday night. USATSI

8. It's time to find out how good Jason Knight really is: At 25, the talented featherweight continues to get better at a rapid pace. After losing his UFC debut by decision to Tatsuya Kawajiri in 2015, Knight has reeled off four straight victories -- the last of which was his most impressive when he knocked out Chas Skelly in May. Now he'll test himself in a legitimate step-up fight against the veteran Ricardo Lamas. A serious knee injury to Lamas' original opponent, "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung, opened up the opportunity for Knight to step in. Now it's time to find out whether he's ready to step up the 145-pound rankings. 

9. Aljamain Sterling-Renan Barao: Crossroads match or loser leaves town? Forgive me the urge to create a pro wrestling narrative that the loser of this one would be looking for a new line of work. At the same time, a loss for either bantamweight would be disastrous at this point. The fight will take place at a catchweight of 140 pounds, mandated by the California State Athletic Commission in response to Barao, a former bantamweight champion, needing to be hospitalized while attempting to make weight at UFC 177 in Sacramento three years ago. Barao, 30, saw his amazing 32-fight unbeaten streak come to an end when he lost his UFC title to TJ Dillashaw in their first meeting in 2014. He's just 2-2 since that fight, including a second TKO loss to Dillashaw and a failed move up to featherweight. Sterling, meanwhile, was once regarded as UFC's bantamweight of the future until a pair of recent defeats. He bounced back in April by outpointing Augusto Mendes, but hasn't yet shown that same spark of old. 

10. Can Saturday's card begin a salvageable run to end 2017 for UFC?: Coming off record numbers in 2016 and a much-publicized $4 billion sale to new owners WME-IMG last July, this hasn't been the finest new year for the promotion by any means. Numbers are down and top stars remain idle. If anything, Conor McGregor's one-off leap to the boxing ring against Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26 has done nothing but take attention away from the built-in narrative involving the Cormier-Jones feud entering Saturday's card. With UFC likely returning to New York's Madison Square Garden in November and a flurry of quality cards beginning to appear on the calendar, UFC 214 needs to live up to its potential and be the giant financial success it was designed to in order to spark a hot run to close the year.