Jon Jones vs Gustafsson II is the fight the UFC need to make

Published Add your comment

Jon Jones' injury has caused the UFC quite the headache, but perhaps the biggest move they've made is to stick with Daniel Cormier as the next challenger - instead of the rightful challenger, Alexander Gustafsson.

Gustafsson was the initial opponent lined up for a UFC Light Heavyweight title shot at UFC 178, but after suffering a meniscus injury in training, he was replaced by Cormier.

Now, with Jones being injured and the fight pushed into the new year, surely Gustafsson would be considered to be given the title shot, right? Wrong. And it will be to the UFC's detriment for doing so.

Too much risk

Perhaps the best reason to opt for Gustafsson over Cormier comes down to the risk factor in going with Cormier.

He's 35-years-old and before Gustafsson's injury was going to have knee surgery that would sideline him for nearly a year.

He'll need to have that surgery eventually and if he goes out and beats Jones in January, it's very likely he'll opt to have the surgery afterwards, putting him on the shelf for most of 2014 and leaving the light heavyweight division without a champion.

So, the UFC is down a champion and their biggest draw, Jones, has a loss on his record. Maybe you get by on a Gustafsson-Jones II for a number one contender's shot but then one of those is waiting and you lose a title contender.

Worst of all, there's no guarantee that Cormier's knee will be as good as it was before or he could suffer injuries like former UFC Bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz - who is returning at UFC 178 after nearly three years on the shelf following complications with his knee following surgery.

So in the worst case scenario, Cormier retires as champion and the UFC has to rebuild the division around Jones or Gustafsson, who at that point haven't beaten the former champion (Note: Gustafsson hasn't faced Cormier before).

Related News:

Jon Jones injured, out of UFC 178
Jon Jones makes a death threat towards Daniel Cormier over 'spit' comments

Gustafsson is right to be annoyed

However, if the UFC had opted to put Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 182, in place of Cormier, we get a much safer fight for the UFC to take - one that won't cannibalise the division.

A win for Gustafsson would likely mean a rematch and Jones-Gustafsson III, likely in Sweden or somewhere else Europe, and if he wins that, then it'll be right around the time for Cormier's return (presuming he takes surgery) or for someone like Anthony Johnson to challenge.

If Jones wins, then he can fight Johnson, before looking for Cormier towards the back end of the year - once again, if he undergoes surgery like he probably would.

Despite the brawl between Jones and Cormier getting mainstream coverage, it was considered a bad thing for MMA by many and although it generated a lot of hype - the rematch of 2013's 'Fight of the Year' would've been just as hyped up - something that Gustafsson agrees with.

Although the UFC has supposedly assured Cormier of his title shot - perhaps they should take the time to re-evaluate the situation and think of the overall risks surrounding the division.

Cormier's career could end with his knee surgery and if he has it on the back of beating Jones, the UFC miss out on one or two big money PPVs with Jones at the helm of the division.

It would seem they're putting all their eggs in the Jones basket and although he is one of the best fighters in the history of the UFC, Cormier isn't going to be the Chris Weidman to Jones' Anderson Silva.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Jon Jones

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport - UFC Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again