The UFC announced Thursday that Jones will face Gustafsson in a rematch on Sept. 27. The announcement comes a few days after UFC boss Dana White said Jones preferred to fight Daniel Cormier instead of Gustafsson.
Jones confirmed that was the case, calling Cormier the “tougher fighter.” But he says he will fight Gustafsson because there is a higher demand for the fight.
“I think Cormier is the tougher fighter, but the fans want to see me fight Gustafsson,” Jones said in a statement via UFC.com.
“There was never an issue with taking the Gustafsson fight. 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.”
So Jones will be facing Gustafsson, but the fight won’t be exactly when he wants it. You knew there had to be some catch for him.
It’s pretty clear that Dana wanted Jones to fight Gustafsson to satisfy the demand.
“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,” said White in a statement.
This is probably the way it should be. And White is right — after Jones beats Gustafsson, then he can fight Cormier. There’s no reason not for them to have a rematch first.