Jon Jones-Alexander Gustafsson bout announcement “coming soon”

Jon Jones-Alexander Gustafsson bout announcement “coming soon”

UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and top contender Alexander Gustafsson have unleashed a handful of verbal jabs towards one another through a variety of platforms over the past few weeks in anticipation of their likely tilt. Fortunately, according to Jones, the blows will become physical sooner than later, as “Bones” recently revealed he’d been told by the organization’s brass that a specific date for the scrap would be booked in the coming weeks.

“Fight date announcement coming soon. Just spoke with (Dana White). Stay tuned,” wrote Jones on Twitter. “My youth won’t be an excuse after this next one.”

A report on this week’s episode of UFC Tonight supported Jones’ statement, pointing to October as the likely landing spot for the scrap.

Jones holds an overall record of 18-1 including five successful defenses of his divisional strap. Along the way he has beaten the likes of Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and Rashad Evans. Comparably, Gustafsson is 15-1 with twelve finishes and wins over James Te Huna, Thiago Silva, and Mauricio Rua.

13 COMMENTS
  • waitetr says:

    While it’s nice to not see another rematch e.g. Machida I do get tired of Dana’s “X fighter will have the next shot”. Sucks for both the fans and the fighter and makes Dana lose even more credibility each time

    The being said I’m still very interested in seeing Machida and Jones fight again. Something tells me the fight would be different than the first even if Machida doesn’t win.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    To be fair to Dana, the LHW division got thrown into flux last year when Hendo got hurt, and didn’t reveal the injury until it was too late to find a viable replacement. Had the injury not happened, Jones would have fought Hendo in September 2012. And Lyoto, who had beaten Bader less than a month earlier to earn #1 contender billing from DW himself, would have gotten the next shot.

    But the paper-thin UFC 151 card was doomed to fail without its main event, and instead of simply canceling the event and moving on, the UFC took a bad situation & made it worse by pulling Chael Sonnen into the mix. That’s where Dana White & Co. started to f*ck things up. Had they left Chael out of things, and not worried about the damn reality TV show, order could have been restored in the division fairly quickly…

    Not wanting to keep Jones on the sidelines too long after UFC 151 folded, the UFC got him right back into action with a spot on a PPV card less than 3 weeks later. Machida was reportedly the first choice, but he didn’t want to (again) take a fight against Jones with less than ideal time to prepare. So that left Belfort, which wasn’t the ideal pairing, but turned out to be a pretty good fight.

    And since Hendo’s injury wasn’t terribly serious, he was gonna be ready to fight in early 2013. That was the fight to make and the timing was totally fine. There’s no reason why Jones vs. Hendo shouldn’t have happened in early 2013 (apart from reality TV shows and pressure from TV execs). And at that time a Machida vs. Gustafsson fight would have been perfect to determine the next top contender.

    But instead the UFC went ahead and milked the Chael cow, and that has had pretty major ramifications on the rest of the division. We as fans don’t get to see Jones fight Hendo, in a fight I think would have been pretty damn awesome both in terms of competition and also historical context, with the greatest American mixed martial artist either cementing that legacy or passing the torch to Jones. But anyway, that matchup went up in flames during the Chael Sonnen reality TV show master plan. And Gustafsson now lands his title fight on the heels of bowing out of a fight due to injury. Meanwhile, Machida has fought only two times in the past 18 months, with no opponent currently on the horizon, as whatever might be left of his prime years further wastes away.

    But Chael got his title shot. Wonderful.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • AlphaOmega says:

    “with no opponent currently on the horizon,” Machida is fighting Davis

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Ah that’s right…totally spaced on that matchup, which I think is a damn good one. Davis shouldn’t be fighting guys like Wagner Prado and Vinny Magalhaes.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Still kinda wacky how Machida goes from temporary #1 contender, to then beating the guy that was the actual #1 contender, to next fighting a guy whose last 2 opponents were outside the top-10…. while a guy whose next fight was a non-title bout, against a fringe top-10 LHW, but had to pull out due to injury & now finds himself with the title shot.

    Strange how the UFC puzzle pieces fit together sometimes.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    The UFC makes the puzzle pieces fit together by stuffing money inbetween the gapes. I’m curious though, Jones/Gustafsson puts Jones as beating the record for most title defenses, didn’t he say he was then dropping the belt and moving up to HW after that? So if Gustafsson loses, does that mean they will then have to have a LHW tourney?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Hard to speculate when Jones will make the move up. I would have liked to see him fight Hendo, Gustafsson, Teixeira and Silva before moving up in weight. (A guy can dream, right?)

    But having him dick around with Chael held things up and I realize that’s not going to work out from a timing & overall logistics standpoint. But even still, after Gustafsson there will still be plenty of intriguing options for Jones…

    Teixeira — His next win would be his 20th in a row, including 5 in the UFC… how many damn fights does Glover need to win to earn his shot?

    Anderson Silva — If he beats Weidman in a few weeks you know the Silva-JBJ talk will reach a fever pitch.

    Cormier — If Cain takes care of JDS again, I think Cormier will indeed complete the drop in weight to compete at 205.

    Obviously none of those are a lock to happen, but I have to think at least one of them would pan out.

    Point being, if JBJ makes the switch it won’t be for lack of LHW options. I’d guess we’ll see him fight at 205 at least a couple more times.

    BTW, this all assumes that Jones will walk thru Gustafsson the way he has everyone else. Alex has won 15 of 16 fights as a pro, including 6 straight, and yet it’s sort of impossible to picture him beating the champion. It really is incredible how awesome JBJ is as a fighter.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Damn Richard, you’ve got a serious HateOn for Chael. You do realize that every other fighter backed out of 151 and Chael was their last resort. Jones is the one that then refused to fight Chael, when he could have just as easily said, “Fine. But we’ll do it at a 220lb catch weight so I don’t have to cut and the title is off the table.” Or one of a million other things. U were also OK with Vitor getting the shot since it “…turned out to be a pretty good fight.”, but you’re not OK with Chael doing TUF when Jones was injured, in what turned out to be the greatest season of TUF ever. You can’t blame Chael for all the issues at LHW when he really had nothing to do with them. All he ever did was say Yes when asked to fight.

    Dan is the one that dropped the ball in the LHW division and because of it he had to take an extra fight. He lost and now has to work his way back up.
    Lyoto was promised a title shot with a win over Bader after having gone 1-3 in his last 4 and just came off a loss to for the belt. Shogun was also promised a title shot on the same card as Lyoto with a win.
    Jones was injured so he was doing TUF so Lyoto and Rua each took another fight. Lyoto won (his first back to back wins since 2009) and Shogun lost to Gustafsson.
    Since Gustafsson is riding a 6 fight winning streak and Lyoto is 3-3 and recently lost to the champ, Alexander gets the nod.
    How is any of that strange?

    You’re absolutely right about the LHW division lacking challengers though.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Speculation: Do you think Gustafsson would still be getting the nod if he had of fought Gegard? Or would he of lost, and then Machida would of gotten the shot dana said was going to him?

    In the end it could be that Gustafsson’s fluke cut could actually calm down LHW, and bring up a clear cut contender

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Must suck most for jones. Not his fault cormiers not lhw , hendo got hurt, had to fight chael, ect. Hes just fighting and kicking ass but im sure hed rather stack wins over hendo and other big names top 3 guys.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Damn Richard, you’ve got a serious HateOn for Chael. You do realize that every other fighter backed out of 151 and Chael was their last resort. Jones is the one that then refused to fight Chael, when he could have just as easily said, “Fine. But we’ll do it at a 220lb catch weight so I don’t have to cut and the title is off the table.” Or one of a million other things.

    I don’t blame Chael for trying to swoop in for an undeserved title shot once UFC 151 was starting to crumble. I doubt “every other fighter” refused to take the fight; more like “every legit LHW contender” the UFC was willing to consider to carry a paper-thin PPV card refused to take a fight against JBJ and jeopardize their place in the standings with only a few days of actual preparation time. It’s not like the UFC went A-Z thru the LHW rolodex trying to find a replacement. “Hey Joe, get Ryan Jimmo on the line stat!”

    As for Jones, he’s the several times defending champion. If he doesn’t want to accept a last-minute change to the contractually-agreed fight he prepared for, I have to respect his right to make that call. It’s called making a prudent decision in managing his career as a professional athlete/fighter, where absolutely nothing is guaranteed. If the UFC had floated the idea you mentioned of a catch-weight/non-title fight, while kicking in an extra couple million bucks, I bet Jones would have reconsidered. But does that sound like the UFC to you? Of course not. It’s more like this: “UFC 151 will be remembered as the event Jon Jones and Greg Jackson murdered.”

    U were also OK with Vitor getting the shot since it “…turned out to be a pretty good fight.”, but you’re not OK with Chael doing TUF when Jones was injured, in what turned out to be the greatest season of TUF ever. You can’t blame Chael for all the issues at LHW when he really had nothing to do with them. All he ever did was say Yes when asked to fight.

    If Jones had agreed to fight Chael at UFC 151, and Chael had lasted a couple rounds while coming fairly close to beating him, I’d have said the same thing… not an ideal matchup but surprisingly turned out to be a competitive fight. Under the circumstances, it would have felt dirty but it would have been somewhat understandable. JBJ fought Vitor less than 3 weeks later, so that didn’t hold anything up with the division the way that planning a Jones-Chael fight months in advance did. That was just a completely ridiculous money-grab maneuver.

    Dan is the one that dropped the ball in the LHW division and because of it he had to take an extra fight. He lost and now has to work his way back up.

    I completely agree Dan dropped the ball and was the true catalyst to UFC 151′s demise (along with the UFC’s poor planning in putting together such a top-heavy, flimsy card). But you don’t start jacking with the legitimacy of the rankings & belt in order to “punish” Dan Henderson. Fine him, withhold potential OTN bonuses, whatever… the UFC obviously has lots of discretion in their dealings with fighters. Plenty of ways to handle a situation like that without compromising the legitimacy of the sport.

    Lyoto was promised a title shot with a win over Bader after having gone 1-3 in his last 4 and just came off a loss to for the belt. Shogun was also promised a title shot on the same card as Lyoto with a win. Jones was injured so he was doing TUF so Lyoto and Rua each took another fight. Lyoto won (his first back to back wins since 2009) and Shogun lost to Gustafsson. Since Gustafsson is riding a 6 fight winning streak and Lyoto is 3-3 and recently lost to the champ, Alexander gets the nod.
    How is any of that strange?

    I’m not saying Lyoto should have been the #1 contender so soon after losing to JBJ. In fact, I’ve said the exact opposite, going back to when Jones suggested no one wanted to see him fight Machida again, and lots of people tried to suggest otherwise. I didn’t think there was much intrigue for that fight, largely based on the fact Lyoto hadn’t done anything to earn another shot so soon.

    But when the UFC president declares Lyoto #1 contender, then Lyoto beats the guy who was the actual #1 contender prior to injury, it’s strange that the UFC tabbed another guy for the next title shot… a guy who was going to have to fight again before his title shot, only to pull out with injury*. Hell, in the end this specific set of circumstances probably worked out for the best, but it’s still another wacky example of UFC dealings.

    *Gilbert Melendez, Chris Weidman, Alexander Gustafsson… pulling out of a fight due to injury has paved the way to a title shot, just as losing a fight has been a stepping stone to a title shot for Frankie Edgar, Nick Diaz, Chael Sonnen and Miesha Tate this year.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Oh, and Jones’ injury (sustained in September 2012) had nothing to do with TUF; that was another load of crap DW tried to sell.

    Jones-Hendo was the title fight to make happen in early 2013. Both guys fought in early 2013 but unfortunately it wasn’t against each other… because the UFC pulled Chael into the mix to boost ratings for a reality TV show.

    This is not a matter of *hate* or even opinion. It’s the simple reality of the situation as it unfolded.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Speculation: Do you think Gustafsson would still be getting the nod if he had of fought Gegard? Or would he of lost, and then Machida would of gotten the shot dana said was going to him?

    In the end it could be that Gustafsson’s fluke cut could actually calm down LHW, and bring up a clear cut contender

    Yeah, I think if Alex had lost to Mousasi the UFC would have reluctantly given the next shot to Machida. I mean, he’s a decent safety net.

    I have nothing against Lyoto btw… I actually like him a lot as a fighter. I’ve always been fascinated by his unique brand of fighting and tremendous skills/technique. A rematch against Jones wouldn’t be bad (it would beat the hell out of watching JBJ toy with Chael), but when there are fresh matchups like Hendo (kinda ruined now), Gustafsson, Teixeira or Silva to be made, Lyoto-Jones II doesn’t do much for me.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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