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Wednesday, 06/12/2013, 10:01 am

“Bones” Leaning Toward Fall Return, Fight Against “The Mauler”

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| Apparently Jon Jones’ toe is healing up rather nicely and the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion is looking to return before the end of  the year and wants to defend his strap for a record setting sixth time (UFC light heavyweight).

According to Ariel Helwani on last night’s episode of FUEL TV’s “UFC Tonight”, Jon’s toe is right on pace with recovery and The Champ is looking to make his return in the fall to place his title on the line against Alexander Gustafsson.

The Swedish fighter has been chasing a fight with Jones for some time now, but just recently the tension has started to tighten. The two have engaged in Twitter back-and-forths and they recently had a face-to-face stare-down in Russia. Gustafsson later posted a picture of the stare-down on his twitter account and stated that he could see fear in The Champion’s eyes.

Although this fight is still just a rumor and nothing has been officially inked this fight seems to make sense for these two men. Gustafsson is a top-contender, he’s on a six-fight winning streak, and with his long frame he would be a good striking match-up for Jones. The time table seems to suit Jones well as he’ll have plenty of time to let the toe recover properly, he wants the fight with Gustafsson, and at this point in time I think “The Mauler” is the biggest threat to Jones that he has not already beaten.

So what do you guys think? Is this the right match-up for the current LHW Champ or should Gustafsson have to win one more fight before he claims the number-one contender spot?

Let’s not forget, we have Rashad vs. Henderson this weekend at UFC 161, we have Lyoto Machida taking on Phil Davis (Davis is the only man to beat Gustafsson in the UFC) at UFC 163 on August 3rd, and then Chael Sonnen is battling Shogun at UFC on FS1 1 on August 17th. All of these men are top contenders, although Jones has beaten many of them already. But Machida was already supposed to have his rematch with Jones, Shogun has stated that he wants to fight Jones again, and Henderson still has unfinished business with “Bones” as he had to withdraw from their fight just about a week out of the fight due to a knee injury.

So with all these fights happening this summer, who do you all think deserves the next shot at Jone Jones and the UFC light heavyweight title?

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain

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