clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Alexander Gustafsson still wants next crack at Jon Jones, won't fight beforehand

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

With the news that Jon Jones would be unable to defend his title against Daniel Cormier at UFC 178, the odd man out -- Alexander Gustafsson -- wants back in.

Gustafsson was originally slated to fight for the light heavyweight title against Jones on Sept. 27 in Las Vegas, and he believes that he should be reinserted into the equation when Jones is ready to compete again on January 3. The Swede was forced from the card when he suffered a knee injury in training, and opted to have minor corrective surgery (which he underwent last Tuesday). Jones, meanwhile, has since withdrawn from the main event with Cormier upon tearing the meniscus in his left knee and spraining his ankle during wrestling practice in Albuquerque this week.

Thus, Gustafsson's camp wants the original match-up restored.

His manager, Manos Terzitane, reacted to yesterday's news.

"[Gustafsson] will do whatever he can to not get passed by," he told UFC Tonight. "He will not accept any other fight than to be the next in line for the title against Jones."

Gustafsson and Jones fought at UFC 165 in Toronto in September of last year, a memorable encounter that many considered the fight of the year. It was a night of many firsts. Jones, who had appeared invulnerable through his title reign, was challenged throughout the fight; he was taken down in the first round and cut, and it wasn't until the fourth round that he turned the fight in his favor. Even though he scored a unanimous decision in the eyes of the judges, the fight was close enough for a rematch.

Gustafsson has long contender that he won the bout, and has been working towards the rematch ever since. After he beat Jimi Manuwa in March, and Jones subsequently defeated Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 in April, it looked like a sure thing. But the circumstances have changed since then. As UFC 178 promotional efforts got underway, Jones and Cormier engaged in a brawl at a press conference on Aug. 4, which only made the Cormier-Jones fight that much bigger.

Upon news of Jones' withdrawal, the UFC has labeled it a "postponement," and he's now slated to face Cormier at UFC 182 in Las Vegas on Jan. 3, 2015.