MMA: Someone Isn’t Happy About Jon Jones’ Next Fight
After the news broke on Tuesday that Jon Jones won’t be able to defend his light heavyweight title next month at UFC 178, disappointment swept across the Mixed Martial Arts community. But there was a silver lining: Jones’ grudge match with rival Daniel Cormier has been rescheduled to Jan. 3 at UFC 182.
Fans like me just have to wait another five months for one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history. But not everyone is excited to see Jones and Cormier battle for the light heavyweight championship, namely Alexander Gustafsson.
Gustafsson has become the odd man out in the 205-pound division. He was Jones’ original opponent on Sept. 27 but he was forced to withdraw from the card after suffering a knee injury in training and opted to have minor corrective surgery (which he underwent last Tuesday).
But after Jones dropped out of the main event with Cormier upon tearing the meniscus in his left knee and spraining his ankle this week, Gustafsson feels he should be reinserted into the equation when Jones is ready to compete in January.
“[Gustafsson] will do whatever he can to not get passed by,” his manager Manos Terzitane told UFC Tonight. “He will not accept any other fight than to be the next in line for the title against Jones.”
Jones and Gustafsson fought at UFC 165 in a classic battle that many considered the fight of the year. Jones retained his title but Gustafsson was definitely his toughest test, taking him down in the first round and leaving Jones bruised and battered like never before. In fact, it wasn’t until the fourth round that Jones was able to take control of the fight and despite earning a unanimous decision, the fight was close enough to warrant a rematch.
The rematch looked like a sure thing after Gustafsson beat Jimi Manuwa in March and Jones defeated Glover Teixeira in April. But after so many things changed, Jones vs. Cormier became a huge draw especially after the two of them engaged in a brawl at a press conference last week.
Personally, I think Gustafsson has a point. He was the original number one contender until he got injured and now that Jones is injured they would both be ready to fight in January, so he does have a right to demand his rematch. And the rematch is definitely a fight we’d all like to see. But after last week, Jones vs. Cormier has the potential to be one of the biggest pay-per-view draws in UFC history, so there’s no way they’re gonna scrap that fight in favor of Jones vs. Gustafsson.
Thoughts? Be heard in the comments!