UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will head to the city of Toronto to face top contender Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 on September 21. UFC president Dana White confirmed the news when speaking to members of the media on Thursday during a press event surrounding UFC 161 in Winnipeg.
According to White, the plan is for Jones to make his fifth title defense in the headline fight for the promotion's return to Canada:
Just yesterday, Jones tweeted that he had talked to White and expected a fight announcement to happen soon.
Jones has fought in Toronto twice previously, defeating Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 and Vitor Belfort at UFC 152. Both bouts ended in submission victories for the defending champ of the 205-pound division.
Jones and Gustafsson have both been asking the UFC to put the fight together via Twitter and other networks, and now both of them will get their wish.
For Jones, this fight is the chance to break the record for the most consecutive light heavyweight title defenses in UFC history. He currently has five in a row, which is a record also held by former light heavyweight champion and UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz.
Jones has made it clear that his goal is to break that record before talking about any potential superfights or an eventual move to the heavyweight division.
Challenging Jones' hunt for the record will be the Swedish-born Gustafsson, who returns to action for the first time since last December when he defeated former champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Gustafsson was supposed to return to his home country in April against former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi, but a cut suffered late into his training camp prevented him from being cleared in time to take the bout.
Though discouraging at the time, missing that main event fight on Fuel TV allowed the Swede to step into a title shot after winning his last six fights in a row, including finishes in four of them.
Jones vs. Gustafsson is the first confirmed bout for the UFC's return to Toronto, but more fights will likely be added in the coming weeks.
Damon Martin is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.
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