Jon Jones To Defend Title Against Alexander Gustafsson
By Brandon Stubbs, Contributing Writer
After being subjected to a week of posturing by UFC Light-Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones, we finally know who, when and where he will be fighting next.
Fresh off a face-to-face meeting with UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and President Dana White on Thursday, it was announced that Jones will be defending his title against Alexander Gustafsson Sept. 27 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto at UFC 178.
After some grumblings about money and accusations of Jones ducking Gustafsson, the air was cleared Thursday night. “There was never an issue with a contract. I was traveling and finally got to Vegas and got to talk with Dana and Lorenzo. We talked and September 27th, I’ll be fighting Gustafsson,” Jones explained.
Jones stated in a Instagram video earlier this week he was calling out former Strikeforce champ Daniel Cormier, a video he would later take down. In doing so, many fans thought he was ducking Alexander, who gave him such a tough fight last year. But it seemed that Jon wanted to challenge himself with something new and UFC wasn’t having it. “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.”
But not all is loss for Daniel Cormier, who stands to get the winner at some point in 2015 after he has knee surgery. “Obviously Jon is right, this if the fight the fans want to see. The great thing about this is, we get Jones vs. Gustafsson, and if Jones beats Gustafsson, we get Jones vs. Cormier. Two great fights in the light heavyweight division with three of the baddest guys in the world: the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world and champion Jon Jones, and the number one and two contenders,” UFC President Dana White commented.