Alexander Gustafsson underlined that he wants the next pop at the winner of Daniel Cormier versus Volkan Oezdemir on the latest episode of The MMA Hour, but he still has a bone to pick with controversial former champion and Jon Jones.
The perennial light heavyweight contender claimed he wasn’t surprised at all when he heard that Jones failed a drug test in the wake of his victory over Cormier at UFC 214, which was later overturned to a no-contest.
The Swede also revealed that he felt sorry for his former opponent.
“I wasn’t shocked,” Gustafsson told Ariel Helwani.
“I wasn’t surprised and I feel sorry for him. What can I say? I just feel sorry for him…that he’s got new things coming up all the time. I’m not surprised at all and I just feel sorry for him. It’s bad for everything. It’s bad for the sport.
“Look what he did to DC – he’s a beast. Nobody has done what he’s done and he’s just getting caught over and over again.”
Gustafsson said it was Jones’ inability to correct his decisions that made him pity him.
“There must be something wrong with him, right?” he replied when asked specifically why he felt sorry for Jones.
“You know, you just don’t do that. How should I explain it? I just think he’s taking all the wrong decisions all the time and for that I am feeling sorry for him, basically.”
The All Stars fighter came closer to beating Jones than any of his other opponents when he came up on the wrong side of a decision after their epic battle at UFC 165. He has been campaigning for a rematch ever since the first fight, so it was no surprise to hear that he still would like to see Jones back in the Octagon despite his consecutive failed drug tests.
“I want him back. I want another fight with him. I want to fight him at some point in my future career. I just want to fight him one more time and maybe for that reason I want to see him come back,” he said.
“But, at the same time, he’s been getting caught a lot of times. If he doesn’t come back, he doesn’t come back. I just feel like it’s sad for the sport and for the whole thing.”
Gustafsson stated that he would be confident that Jones would be clean if he did make a return:
“It’s a fight, right? If he comes back he has to be clean. There is no other way, so if he comes back at some point he’s going to be clean for sure.”
While he underlined his great respect for current light heavyweight titleholder Cormier, Gustafsson highlighted that he still sees Jones as “the real champion”.
“He has the belt. I want to fight DC for sure. I want that belt, but for me the real champion is Jon Jones of course because he has been destroying everybody in the division. Everything he’s done has not been done before,” stated Gustafsson.
“So, for me, he’s the real champion but I accept DC as a champion too. He’s a good guy and a good fighter and the only person he has lost to is Jon Jones. He’s the real deal and I think he’s champion material.”