Morning Report: Alexander Gustafsson guarantees to finish Jon Jones

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is in the midst of hammering out a new contract, but that hasn't stopped Alexander Gustafsson from turning it into an opportunity to needle his nemesis.

Gustafsson, freshly signed to a new deal himself, agreed to face Jones in a rematch of their 2013 title bout Aug. 30 on a card likely to take place in Las Vegas. In a post now surpassing 30K likes on Facebook, Gustafsson took full advantage of the delayed announcement Thursday by taunting Jones for failing to sign the bout agreement.

"Jon "Bones" Jones, 4 days have past and still no signature from you on that piece of paper from the UFC," Gustafsson posted. "As a Champ, accept my challenge. You have something that belongs to me and I want it. The fans are waiting, so come on now, stop delaying."

The surge in gamesmanship is another sign of Gustafsson's swelling confidence, something that took a giant leap since his five-round war with Jones at UFC 165.

"I learned a lot from that fight. As a person, I learned that I could push myself," Gustafsson told MMA Plus Thursday in Berlin. "We beat each other up. Now I know that we can push hard. I know that I can take a spinning elbow and keep going. I know now that he's not a super human. I know he's beatable.

"The [first] fight, I came out as the No. 2 guy. I got a loss, but at the same time I won a lot. I won a lot of fans and that means a lot to me as a fighter."

Those same fans awarded Gustafsson the cover of EA Sports' upcoming UFC video game, opposite Jones. A not so subtle reminder to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.

"I think the game has a big part in it," said Gustafsson. "The people could vote and I won everything. They want to see a rematch. I'm super excited. I want the rematch and I want that belt."

As Jones rebounded in a return to form against Glover Teixeira in April, the win only emboldened Gustafsson further.

"He knows now, it's a bad fight for him. I think I'm a little bit in his head," said Gustafsson. "I know that I can beat him. I can take that belt and that's what I'm looking forward to do.

"It'll be a finish. I've done the distance thing before and I don't do it again. A finish and I'm taking that belt. Get ready. Get ready, man. It will happen."

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TWEETS

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Mr. Mayor.

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Probably.

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Da Headbanger.

Everything You NEED to Know About TUF Brazil 3 Finale Main Card

A lot of people are very disappointed in this card. They see names like Stipe Miocic and Demian Maia and then they see their opponents and they can't help but say "What the hell?" Have you heard of the injury bug? Tommy Toe Hold does a pretty good job detailing his devilishness. I'm not going to promise fireworks since the last time I did that the fights ended up being stinkers (trying to cover my own ass now rather than sell you on anything). The way I look at it, if you are reading this you intend to watch anyway.

#7 Stipe Miocic (11-1) vs. Fabio Maldonado (21-6), Heavyweight

Story Thus Far: Lots of context needed here. Yes, Maldonado fights at light heavyweight. Yes, even if he didn't this fight would be a mismatch. Most of you are aware that Miocic was originally supposed to fight the former champ Junior dos Santos here, but a broken hand less than a month before the bout was set to take place required a quick fill in. And with the bout taking place in Brazil and the difficulties that can come from obtaining a visa, it narrowed the options down to a Brazilian. I'm not the happiest about it either, but Maldonado stepped up on the short notice at a weight class above him and at least we have a fight. Deal with it.

...

Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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