Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has experienced very little in the way of adversity inside the cage. In fact, the former champ has really only been truly tested once. That was in 2013, when he met Swedish light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson in the main event of UFC 165 in Toronto. On that night, Jones had to fight tooth and nail to escape with his title. And while he ultimately managed to win this wild war by decision, many fans feel Gustafsson did enough to win the belt.
Today, when Jon Jones’ 15-month USADA suspension is almost complete, and Alexander Gustafsson remains one of the very top players in the UFC light heavyweight division, it seems very possible that the two rivals could meet again in the near future.
If this rematch were to be booked, Jon Jones is confident he’d win much more emphatically — not just because he’s improved since he first met Gustafsson, but because he didn’t train especially hard for their first fight.
“I’ve been hearing about the possibility that Alexander Gustafsson will be the first person I fight when I come back, which I’m excited about,” Jon Jones said in a recent interview with RT Sport (via The Mac Life). “A lot of people feel like he beat me the first time we fought, which didn’t happen, it was close, but he didn’t beat me. So Alexander Gustafsson is a possible first fight back, I’d love to fight him again and take him seriously this time. The first time I fought him, I wasn’t living life the way a champion should be living life.
“I didn’t train very hard for that fight, I’m not making excuses, but this is just the truth, I could have given it a lot more effort, I got fatigued after the first two rounds, which is something that never normally happens in my fights, so I feel like the next time I fight him, I will finish him.”
Who do you think would come out on top in a rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/26/2018.