Jones Finally Inks Contract, Gustafsson Rematch is On
After months of speculation that has triggered rumors that ranged from moving up in weight to retiring on top of the game, UFC Light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones has finally signed the contract for his rematch with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 178 on September 27 in Toronto, Canada.
Jones denied that there was never an issue with Gustafsson and nor was he ducking the Swedish Mauler. He said that he did not want to fight on an earlier date because of personal reasons. He pointed out that his brother will be getting married in July and had wanted to fight on a later date. In his statement, Jones said that he preferred an October or November fight but “it is now what it is”. UFC 178 will give Jones the opportunity to attend his brother’s wedding and have enough time to train for a title bout.
Bones added that he would’ve preferred to fight Daniel Cormier because it is the “tougher” fight but since the fans wanted to see a Gustafsson rematch, Jones said he has no problem with that.
Jones and Gustafsson squared at UFC 165. Despite being a big underdog, the Swede took down Jones for the first time in his MMA career and cut him badly near the right eye in the first round of fight. Both men fought valiantly back and forth for five rounds but it seemed that the challenger had pulled of an unlikely upset. In the end, Jones came up victorious via unanimous decision with scores of 48-47,48-47 and 49-46.
Both men were sent to the hospital after the bout because of lacerations and facial swelling. Luckily, neither suffered any major injuries during their brutal five round brawl. Jones would later admit that it was the toughest fight of his career although most fans thought Gustafsson won. But regardless of who won, the bout was hailed as one of the greatest in UFC history and arguably the best ever in the Light Heavyweight division.
Jones is not only the Alpha male in the light heavyweight division. He is the top pound for pound fighter in MMA today. Bones has a record of 20-1 with 9 KOs and 6 submissions. He holds impressive victories over Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson. Since winning the title in 2011 over Rua, Jones has successfully defended the title a record seven times. Three of those seven wins were Fight of the Night winners while another was a Submission of the Night awardee. In his most recent bout last April, Jones defeated Glover Texeira via a one-sided unanimous decision.
Gustafsson meanwhile is the number 1 ranked contender who has an impressive record of 16-3 with 10KOs and 3 submissions. He has defeated big names like Thiago Silva and Shogun Rua. In his latest outing, he disposed of Jimmy Manuwa in two rounds last Mar 8. He has been looking forward to get his second crack at Jones whom he believes he beat the first time around.
UFC president Dana White hailed Jones’ signing as a win- win situation for the champion. He said that a victory by Jones would mean a bigger fight with Daniel Cormier next year. This possibility got White excited that he tweeted about the “two great fights in the light heavyweight division featuring the three baddest men on the planet.”
Cormier, who had called out Jones after his recent win over Dan Henderson, was civil this time to Jones when he tweeted: “Good luck @JonnyBones get er done! See u next year.”
Dana’s got the right reasons to be excited. This storyline looks so perfect.
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