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Jon Jones praises Alexander Gustafsson after retirement announcement: ‘You held the division to a standard and made us better’

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Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2
Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Few people can claim to know Alexander Gustafsson as a fighter like Jon Jones does.

The UFC light heavyweight champion hopped onto social media to pay his respects to Gustafsson following the Swede’s abrupt retirement after losing to Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC Stockholm on Saturday. Jones and Gustafsson fought twice in UFC championship bouts, with Jones emerging victorious both times.

The tone of Jones’s tweet was disbelief, followed by gratitude and well-wishing:

“Honestly, I don’t believe you, but if you’re serious, thank you for everything,” Jones wrote. “You held the division to a standard and made us better. Go kick ass with that family.”

Jones fought Gustafsson at UFC 165 in September 2013 and again at UFC 232 in December 2018. Their first meeting, a five-round war that Jones won by unanimous decision, has widely been hailed as one of the greatest fights in MMA history.

A fan responded to Jones’s initial tweet with a photo of Jones and Gustafsson in the hospital after UFC 165 and Jones quote-tweeted it, writing “Let the good times roll.”