Just days after UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones released a video to his Instagram which stated that he would make the decisions for his own career, he has officially signed on to rematch Alexander Gustafsson, the man who has come the closest to defeating Jones in his historic title reign.
Not to say Jones didn’t want the fight with Gustafsson (16-2) but he seemed to be agitated by fans and the media picking his next fight despite the fact that he is the long-reigning champion who has barely seen a shred of true adversity save for the fight with Gustafsson.
“There was never an issue with a contract. I was traveling and finally got to Vegas and got to talk with Dana and Lorezno. We talked and September 27th, I’ll be fighting Gustafsson,” Jones said in a release.
“I think Cormier is the tougher fighter, but the fans want to see me fight Gustafsson. There was never an issue with taking the Gustafsson fight,” Jones said. “The issue was that my brother is getting married in July and I would have preferred a later date. I didn’t want to go this early and i would have preferred to go later in October or November. It is what it is. We have a date now, Sept 27th. This was a personal decision for me. I will be at my brother’s wedding and have a proper training camp.”
Jones (20-1) rebounded from the close decision win over Gustafsson last October to dominate Glover Teixeira in an April 2014 bout at UFC 172 to run his defense streak to seven straight, the most total and consecutive defenses in the division’s illustrious history.
His opponent, Gustafsson was quick to rebound as well. He faced Jimi Manuwa in March and nabbed both ‘Fight’ and ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses with a 2nd round TKO.
Their rematch will headline UFC 178 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, most likely at the Air Canada Centre, a venue in which Jones has defended his title three times, most recently against Gustafsson at UFC 165.