Yesterday afternoon, reports surfaced that the UFC was working on an Alexander Gustafsson vs. Yoel Romero light heavyweight title fight for UFC 230 in New York City. While this surprising matchup generated quite a bit of excitement among fans, it now seems as though the promotion is going in another direction. According to ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto, UFC President Dana White is now thinking about booking a Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson rematch for UFC 232 on December 29 in Las Vegas.
“It’s one of the greatest light heavyweight title fights in history and I expect the rematch to be the same,” White told Okamoto in a text message.
Jon Jones has not fought since July of 2017, when he knocked out Daniel Cormier with a head-kick, reclaiming the UFC light heavyweight title. Unfortunately, it was announced that Jones had failed a drug test shortly thereafter, which meant his win was overturned and the belt was returned to Cormier.
After over a year of uncertainty, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) finally handed Jones a 15-month suspension this month, retroactive to the time of his failed test. As such, he’ll be able to fight again as soon as November. Jon Jones is 22-1 overall. His only loss came by way of disqualification.
Alexander Gustafsson, meanwhile, last fought even longer ago than Jon Jones. His last fight occurred in May of 2017, when he scored a fifth-round knockout in a systematic beatdown of Glover Teixeira. With this win, he built on the momentum of a decision defeat of Jan Blachowicz and further separated himself from losses to Daniel Cormier and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. He’s 18-4 overall.
Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson first met in the main event of UFC 165 in 2013. On that night, Jones walked away with a decision win and the light heavyweight belt — though many fans felt Gustafsson should have been awarded the victory. As White said in his text to Okamoto, it was one of the greatest fights in UFC history.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/27/2018.