Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio Rua Coud Be Title Eliminator
A few months ago, we were certain that Dan Henderson was the man Jon Jones would be facing in his next light heavyweight title defence after defeating Rashad Evans in April.
But an injury to Henderson, one from which we’re still not sure when he will recover, threw everything into chaos.
What made it worse was that two of the leading contenders, Rua and Lyoto Machida, seemed less than enthusiastic at the thought of stepping up.
Rua was supposed to be the next contender after he defeated Brandon Vera in August, but White changed his mind after his narrow victory. Then, later in the month, when Henderson pulled out, Machida was offered the fight, but he flat turned it down at the time, leaving the highly unusual decision to pit Vitor Belfort against the champion at UFC 152.
All these refusals and injuries have left no frontrunner for Jones’ next defence.
Instead, White has now hinted that it would be either Rua, who lost the title to Jones in 2011, or rising star Alexander Gustafsson who will face Jones.
"It'll put [Rua or Gustafsson] in the position [for a title shot]," White said of the co-main event (H/T MMA Junkie).
However, with Jones still out with an injury sustained during the Belfort fight, there’s still no telling what will happen between now and the time the champion is ready for his next opponent.
UFC on Fox 5 will take place on 8 December at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. The main event will feature a lightweight championship fight between Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz.
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