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Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson get into heated argument at UFC 232 press conference: ‘You say the same dry ass sh*t every fight’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It’s safe to say Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson did not exchange Christmas cards this week.

On Thursday afternoon, both fighters met with the media to discuss the fallout from an “abnormality” on Jones’ pre-fight drug test forcing the UFC to move UFC 232 from Las Vegas to Inglewood.

Gustafsson, who had recently flown in from Sweden, was visibly agitated as he lambasted his opponent for what he perceived as ruining the plans for fans and fellow fighters.

“I’m here to fight,” said Gustafsson before pointing to Jones. “What this guy is saying is bullsh*t. He’s just terrible. This guy is terrible. I’m telling you, he’s terrible. I’m here to fight, it was nothing else. But the thing is I’m flexible. It’s all good. But we have friends, family and fans coming into town and having plans and budgets. They have to reschedule and replan everything.

“Whatever this guy is saying, you can’t take it serious. You can’t take it serious at all. He’s just terrible. He’s terrible. He will eat it. He will eat it on Saturday night. He will eat everything on Saturday night.”

In the past, Jones and Gustafsson have shared a fairly of professional rivalry ever since their initial bout at UFC 165 in 2013. While it rarely became personal, Jones’ history with past drug tests failures combined with the recent shake up left Gustafsson in an uncharacteristically sour mood.

This was none more evident when Gustafsson was asked point-blank if he felt Jones was a cheater.

“Yes I do,” said Gustafsson. “Yes I do. This guy is not confident. He has to put sh*t in his body to be confident. That’s how he is.”

Jones, who bested Gustafsson in their first bout, immediately snatched up the microphone and uncorked a barrage of heated words at his upcoming opponent over questioning his mindset heading into their fight Saturday night.

“What’d you say about confidence? I’m not confident?” asked Jones. “I put sh*t in my body and that makes me confident? So I put a pictogram (sic) of a steroid in my body and that makes me [confident]? It’s good that you actually believe that a microscopic pictogram somehow has allowed me to be more confident. I’m glad that you believe that. I’m glad that you believe that I beat you and I’ve become everything that I’ve done because of a microscopic pictogram. You believe that I beat you because of a microscopic pictogram. You believe that, huh?”

Refusing to let Jones have the last word, Gustafsson snapped right back.

“I believe that, of course. “It’s illegal sh*t in your body. Illegal stuff in your body.”

But an unrelenting Jones continued to his verbal assault as Gustafsson tried to speak over him.

“What was found in my body was 100-percent on the banned list —,” started Jones

“There you have it guys,” interrupted Gustafsson. “And he’s still going down on Saturday.”

“You honestly believe I beat you and I beat every other 24 fights I’ve ever been in, against the baddest dudes in the world, because of a microscopic pictogram?” asked Jones

“I do,” responded Gustaffson. “I do.”

It literally took UFC President Dana White to put an end to the bickering as he sternly asked which reporter had the next question. But the clap backs wouldn’t stop, as Jones continued to bring up Gustafsson’s earlier “confidence” comments.

“The funniest thing is is someone trying to convince me, an undefeated fighter, that I’m not confident because of a pictogram,” said Jones. “I think this is so funny that the person who lost is making an excuse over a microscopic chemical instead of just saying Jon Jones’ balls is way bigger than mine and that’s why he beat me. This guy has found a way to justify why he lost. It’s hilarious. So I’ve been being educated by USADA and now I’m being drug tested by VADA to prove my innocence.

“So, from I understand, it’s like taking a grain of salt and chopping into 48 million pieces. A grain of salt, imagine this, and chopping that it into 48 million pieces. That’s why I beat Alexander Gustafsson? Are you serious? Wrap your head around what that is. He and everybody else I’ve beaten in the past have convinced themselves that this is not the truth that your looking at. 48 million pieces, one piece of salt and that is why I almost knocked him out in the fourth round?”

Hearing enough, Gustafsson scooped up the mic and looked to put a pin in Jones’ rant.

“Nobody cares if it’s a grain of salt,” said Gustafsson. “You have illegal sh*t in your body…We have a fight coming up on Saturday and you’ll still have the picogram in your body.”

“I would love to give you one picogram back, one grain of salt back and then let’s see what you do with it,” responded Jones.

“No, thank you,” laughed Gustafsson. “I am good. I still have my balls Jon.”

With both fighters seething, Gustafsson reiterated he was more concerned with everyone that lost out on tickets in Las Vegas and the family members who had to reroute to Las Angeles.

Outside of that, he’s happy to finally his hands on Jones.

“I’m just happy we have a fight on Saturday,” said Gustafsson. “I only feel for the fans and the fighters’ family members coming in and friends. But, for myself, I’m flexible. I’m here to fight and I’m happy with have a fight. It doesn’t matter if he has some rocket fuel or whatever. I’m going to beat him anyway on Saturday night.”

But again, an even more irate Jones grabbed the microphone for one final tirade.

“You say the same sh*t every interview,” yelled Jones before transitioning to a faux-Swedish accent. “‘I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m ready. I’m in the best shape of my life.’ You say the same dry ass sh*t every fight. Shut the f*ck up. You said the sh*t before you got knocked out in your home country. Shut the f*ck up.”

Gustafsson, eyes rolling, seemed to brush off the comments.

“Okay, Jon,” said Gustafsson. “Okay.”

The two pugilist will finally settle their differences inside The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. on Saturday.

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