Does Jon Jones Make A Valid Case For Avoiding Gustafsson And Cormier?
Maybe Jon Jones has a point.
Jones recently took to Twitter and decided to play the role of Joe Silva, stating his belief that Alexander Gustafsson should not be given a rematch for his title after blasting Jimi Manuwa.
Instead, “Bones” wants to see Gustafsson go up against fellow contender Daniel Cormier.
His reason: it would create a clear No. 1 contender.
Now, all this – as far as Jones goes – means he needs to take care of business next month in his title fight with Glover Teixeira.
But, while most are quick to point the finger at Jones and claim he is “ducking” either Gustafsson or Cormier, maybe he has a point.
As of late, the majority of the MMA media and fan base have been making a plea for worthy title-contenders.
People said Sara McMann wasn’t ready for Ronda Rousey, or that Miesha Tate didn’t deserve her rematch.
They claimed Anthony Pettis should never have been in the discussion for a planned featherweight championship match with Jose Aldo before he took the lightweight title. Or that Aldo shouldn’t jump right in to 155 and be an immediate contender.
Or that Urijah Faber was an unworthy challenger to Renan Barao when Dominick Cruz was forced to drop out.
Maybe Jones heard all this and thinks everything would run smoother with a clear-cut contender determined instead of Cormier waiting on the sidelines for Jones to fight Teixeira and Gustafsson again.
I’m going to try my best to make Jones’ point stick with many of you in as few of words as possible.
Let’s first look at Gustafsson, who man-handled the previously unbeaten Manuwa. While that says something, “Poster Boy” was not among the Top-10 in his division.
After falling to Phil Davis, Gustafsson reeled of six consecutive wins to secure his match with the champion – no easy feat in the UFC. However, only one of those victories came vs. a Top-10 foe in Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
The others – Thiago Silva, Vladimir Matyushenko, Matt Hamill, James Te Huna and Cyrille Diabate – are nothing to look down upon, but they aren’t in the same category as the list of fighters Jones has fought off since claiming the belt.
Had Gustafsson’s scheduled meeting with Gegard Mousasi went on as planned last year, and he won it, that would have been a quality winning since Mousasi is a former champion.
How about Cormier? He’s undefeated, but just one of those fights has come at 205 pounds – which puts him in a similar situation to Pettis or Aldo as previously mentioned.
The former Olympian wasn’t given cupcakes by any means after signing with Strikeforce a few years back, as he entered the Heavyweight Grand Prix as a replacement and promptly knocked out Antonio Silva. Maybe “Bigfoot” was underestimating him, maybe not, but a win is a win.
He continued his run by scoring a decision over Josh Barnett – a former UFC champion – before closing out his Strikeforce career with a victory vs. Dion Staring. Back-to-back decisions over Frank Mir and Roy Nelson look good on paper, but those two are on the edge of the Top-10.
What does all this mean? Honestly, not much, as the UFC is going to do what is best for them in terms of making the best fight and making the most money. That’s what they do. It’s a business, and everything is a business decision.
I’m just trying to give Jones’ point a little backing and keep people from thinking he’s ducking anybody at this point in his career. He’s the champion. Champions before him have finagled their way around contenders or out of title fights, so this is nothing new.