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Dana White: Jon Jones wants to fight Daniel Cormier, not Alexander Gustafsson

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Esther Lin

The UFC's public campaign to maneuver UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones into a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson continues.

After UFC 173, White stated Gustafasson had signed a bout agreement to face Jones on Aug. 30 at a venue to be determined. The hangup, White said at the time, was getting Jones to sign on the dotted line.

"We just signed Gustafsson to a new deal, and Jones will get a new deal too," White stated in the post-UFC 173 media scrum. "We're doing a new deal with him."

As of Monday, though, the parameters have changed. In an interview with UFC.com, the UFC head honcho said Jones has several fights remaining on his contract, and furthermore, he'd rather fight Daniel Cormier.

"Just to clear up a couple things, people think we're in contract negotiations with Jon Jones - we're not," White told UFC.com. "Jon Jones still has five fights left on his contract. So what we're doing right now is trying to get him to sign the bout agreement for Gustafsson. He doesn't want to fight Gustafsson. ... Lorenzo and I have a meeting with Jones on Thursday to get him to sign the bout agreement, and he's asking to fight Cormier instead."

Jones and Gustafsson fought in a classic bout at UFC 165, one in which Jones fell behind, but rallied in the championship rounds to claim a unanimous decision.

Since then, Jones beat Glover Teixeira and Gustafsson stopped Jimi Manuwa, with the idea of a title rematch always on the horizon. In the meantime, Cormier has emerged as an explosive challenger, racking up a 15-0 record with wins against former champions in two weight classes.

Jones and his team have not yet commented on White's latest take.