For his part, Alexander Gustafsson says he’s ready to go for another five rounds with Jon Jones.
The light heavyweight contender took to Instagram on Tuesday to call out his rival, who recently accepted a 15-month suspension (retroactive to July 2017) for a second USADA anti-doping violation as determined by an arbitrator. That ruling made him eligible to compete again as of Oct. 28, and Gustafsson has been front and center in lining up for the former champion’s comeback fight.
According to Gustafsson, he has already signed a contract and is waiting on Jones to do the same.
“(Jon Jones), you are pissing me off!” Gustafsson wrote. “I signed my agreement. Where are you? Are you chickening out again? Stop being a coward!”
Gustafsson has been limited by injuries over the past few years, competing just five times since Sept. 21, 2013, when he fought Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship at UFC 165. That night, Jones successfully defended his title against Gustafsson, winning a unanimous decision after 25 hotly contested minutes. At the time, it was arguably the biggest test that Jones had faced to date.
“The Mauler”, coming off of back-to-back wins over Glover Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz, has been active on social media since it was announced when Jones would be eligible to return to competition. He suggested that the two fight while current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier settles his business with Brock Lesnar.
Cormier, who is also the UFC’s heavyweight champion, recently said that he expected officials might strip him of the 205-pound title and have Gustafsson fight Yoel Romero for it, but that a bout between Gustafsson and Jones was also rumored to be on the table. Jones’s manager Malki Kawa has also mentioned Gustafsson as a logical opponent for his client.