“The Mauler” will rematch Jones as scheduled after their light heavyweight championship main event at UFC 232 ran into a slight speed bump. On Sunday, it was reported that the Nevada State Athletic Commission would not be issuing a license for Jones to fight Gustafsson in Las Vegas as was originally planned, so UFC officials decided to move the event at the last-second to Los Angeles where California State Athletic Commission executive officer Andy Foster says Jones has already been cleared compete.
This is the latest in a string of drug-related problems for Jones, who received suspensions in 2016 and 2017 after testing positive for banned substances. This most recent incident has been chalked up to a drug-testing abnormality based on a trace amount related to the same substance Jones tested positive for in July 2017, which was enough of a discovery for the NSAC to rule Jones out of fighting in Nevada until he appears before the commission for a hearing next month.
Jones’s team recently declined a proposal from the CSAC to undergo additional testing with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association ahead of his bout at UFC 232 and Gustafsson used that as a talking point in his reaction to Sunday’s news:
Gustafsson, who has 14 wins by knockout or submission, also vowed that he will finish Jones on Saturday regardless of what Jones has in his system.
“Now we all understand why you didn’t take the [VADA] test!” Gustafsson wrote. “You can be on rocket fuel, [I’m] still gonna finish you, Jon!”
Jones was not impressed by the Swede calling his shot:
Lol sure bud— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) December 24, 2018
This will be Gustafsson’s second chance to defeat Jones and his third crack at a UFC light heavyweight title. Back at UFC 165 in September 2013, Gustafsson went five rounds with Jones, then the champion at 205 pounds, and lost a unanimous decision in a back-and-forth war that is widely regarded as one of the greatest fights in MMA history.