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Morning Report: Alexander Gustafsson says Jon Jones 'will never be able to erase the cheater stamp'

UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson says that Jon Jones is not the greatest of all time and has 'more to prove' after his drug test failure.

Esther Lin

And out come the wolves.

When Jon Jones failed an out-of-competition drug test and was pulled from UFC 200 just days before the event, it shook the MMA world. Now that the dust has somewhat settled many are speaking out about Jones' infraction and how that will effect the legacy of the man many believe to already be the greatest fighter ever. One of those people speaking out is former opponent and fourth ranked light heavyweight contender, Alexander Gustafsson. Yesterday, FloCombat's Jim Edwards spoke with Gustafsson who pontificated on how Jones' recent troubles have effected his legacy.

"I think he is one of the best fighters in the world, but 'Greatest Of All Time?', no not for me. There have been, and still are, so many good fighters and I think Jones still has more to prove, especially now after what has happened."

Gustafsson challenged Jones for the light heavyweight belt in September of 2013. Going into the fight, many were skeptical of Gustafsson's chances but Gustafsson surprised everyone by turning in the stiffest test of Jones' career in an all-time classic fight.

After the fight, Gustafsson made it clear he wanted another crack at Jones and though an immediate rematch was considered, it never came to fruition. Now with Jones' entire fighting future in jeopardy, it appears possible that Gustafsson will never get his chance for revenge. Jones is facing a potential 2 year suspension for his failed test and 2 years in MMA can be an eternity. If USADA does suspend Jones, some are speculating he will never fight again, including Gustafsson.

"Obviously, I think that if it's proven that he has been cheating, he should definitely be suspended. The sad thing for me is that if he does have to sit out two years, then I'm not sure if he will ever be able to come back?

"Even if he does come back, he will never be able to erase the 'cheater stamp'. Once you are caught, you can never wash that away."

Jones is currently under temporary suspension by the NAC until a hearing at a yet to be determined date, likely in September or October. Should he receive the suspension, it becomes another sad stage in the self-destructive saga of one of MMA's most talented fighters. Not only will it be a black mark on his career but, as with all things of this nature, it will also cause some fans to call into question the legitimacy of his past performances, perhaps none moreso than his closest battle against Gustafsson. The Swede is unconcerned about that though.

"Whether he was juicing or not when we fought it doesn't matter. I believe I won that fight and if we meet again, I know I will beat him again."

Alexander Gustafsson is scheduled to fight Jan Blachowicz in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 93 on September 3rd in Hamburg, Germany.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

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2 years. Chad Mendes receives a 2 year suspension from USADA.

Spy games. Jose Aldo said he had a spy in Frankie Edgar's camp for UFC 200.

Unionize. Mark Hunt calls for a fighter's association.

Meek Emil. Emil Meek is out of his UFC debut after self-reporting a possible conflict with USADA.

Let him go. The UFC terminated the remainder of Cro Cop's contract so he could go fight in Rizin.

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EXTRA CREDIT READING

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Drugs. Iain Kidd of BloodyElbow breaks down the drug Chad Mendes tested positive for and why athletes use it.

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MEDIA STEW

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Firas Zahabi talking steroids in MMA.

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Dillashaw interview.

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Chael answers some fan questions.

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He is persistent in making this a thing.

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Dave Rickels interview.

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LISTEN UP

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Heavy Hands.

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Luke went on Press Row to talk PEDs.

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And Chuck was on MMA Mad.

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TWEETS

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Joe Silva is a wonderful addition to MMA.

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If you didn't know, this is why. He does things like this all the time.

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Amir Khan vs Makwan Amirkhani would be Joe Silva's Mona Lisa.

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Chael is always topical.

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Fun fight.

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Only like 9 people popped by USADA. Out of some 400+ fighters. Far cry from all.

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Gotta say, "The Mac Life" is not Conor's best work.

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Jose needed a spy to discover that Frankie would try and take him down off kicks?

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He doesn't own shirts.

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He's back.

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Remember when Robbie was a middleweight? Damn dude, Luke is an enormous middleweight.

Thought I was doing pretty well until I ran into Lebronz James Sr. and Jr.

A photo posted by Luke Rockhold (@lukerockhold) on 

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Rockhold got good jokes.

Good hanging @flex_lewis best of luck with the 5th title. Usada I'll see u guys tomorrow haha @ryanloco

A photo posted by Luke Rockhold (@lukerockhold) on 

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Joanne Calderwood (11-1-0) vs. Jessica Andrade (14-5-0)UFC 203, September 10.

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TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

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2008: Joachim Hansen won the Dream lightweight grand prix, stopping Shinya Aoki in the finals of Dream 5. Hansen was a replacement for Eddie Alvarez (who had defeated him in the quarterfinals) who received a cut that rendered him unable to continue during his victory over Tatsuya Kawajiri earlier in the night. Also featured at this event, Alistair Overeemdefeated Mark Hunt via keylock

2012: Renan Barao won the UFC interim bantamweight championship (which would go on to become the actual bantamweight championship) by winning a unanimous decision over Urijah Faber in the main event of UFC 149.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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Alexander Gustafsson is interesting and slightly tragic because he is probably the person who has gotten the closest to becoming a UFC champion without ever getting there. He was winning the fight with Jones right up until that elbow almost blew his whole life up and he lost a split decision to Cormier in a really good fight. He's MMA's Sisyphus. Now with Jones out he can start the climb back to the top by beating Blachowicz but honestly I'd rather see him go up to heavyweight. He's a big 205er and I think his game translates well up there. Maybe if he loses one more to Cormier he will make the jump up.

That's all for today M.Rmy. Take care of yourselves.

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If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.

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