Swedish light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson is currently gearing up for a December 29, UFC 232-headlining rematch with Jon Jones.
The pair first met in the main event of UFC 165, in September of 2013. On that night Jones defended the UFC light heavyweight title with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory, although many onlookers felt Gustafsson should have gotten the nod — and the title.
Alexander Gustafsson says he is more motivated than ever as he prepares for his highly anticipated rematch with Jones.
“It’s just so much excitement,” Gustafsson said on The MMA Hour last week. “It’s so much motivation. I got this fire in me and I’m just eager to get in there again. It’s been a long time for me since I fought, and like I said, I can’t ask for more. I can’t find a better way to get back in that Octagon than fighting Jon for the belt. It’s just massive, man. It’s massive.”
Over the course of their longstanding rivalry, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson have had plenty to say about one another — much of it negative. That being said, Gustafsson can not deny his foe’s ability. In fact, he considers his upcoming adversary the best fighter in the world.
“He’s a really talented fighter. He’s a very smart fighter,” he said. “Whatever Jon does, in that Octagon he has a strategy and he’s a very smart fighter with a good eye, so you can’t relax. You can’t relax with this guy. You can’t even give him an inch. You have be on your toes the whole fight, you have to be ready the whole fight. So, that’s how I see Jon now. Jon has just been so impressive, that’s why he never lost. So, he is just that guy. He’s been beating everybody, so we all know how he is and how he’s been.
“He’s the best fighter in the world,” Gustafsson added. “For me, he’s the pound-for-pound best fighter, so like I said, I can’t relax for a second when I fight him.”
What do you think of these comments from Alexander Gustafsson?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/12/2018.