Prior to UFC Fight Night 41, UFC President Dana White was asked why the anticipated rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title was not yet official.
His response was “Ask Jon Jones.”
Seemingly, we now have the answer. Most recently unbeaten Heavyweight and former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier made the drop to 205lbs. He has looked ultra-impressive and most recently easily brushed aside former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Dan Henderson.
According to MMA Junkie, White announced: “Just to clear a couple of things, people think we’re in contract negotiations with Jon Jones – we’re not.
“Jon Jones still has five fights left on his contract. So what we’re doing right now is trying to get him to sign the bout agreement for Gustafsson. He doesn’t want to fight Gustafsson.
“Lorenzo (Ferritta) and I have had a meeting with Jones on Thursday to get him to sign the bout agreement, and he’s asking to fight Cormier instead.”
This comes as huge news. Many people anticipated the rematch between Jones and Gustafsson after their epic five round war which Jones took by split decision. That came somewhat controversially and many called for an immediate rematch, only for the champion saying he had commitments to fight Glover Teixeira.
It too puts the UFC in a very awkward situation. With Gustafsson having already signed his bout agreement, technically ‘The Mauler’ is legally obliged to fight Jones. However, with ‘Bones’ as the UFC's biggest star, they may have to side with the Light Heavyweight Champion.
The fight between Jones and Gustafsson is without doubt the UFC’s preferable choice. As it was such a magnificent fight, it would be easily marketable and should pull huge PPV buys. Although Cormier is a very good fighter, his style is not the most pleasing on the eye and could put people off buying the event if he gets the nod.
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