Jon Jones is right.
Even before it was official that the UFC light heavyweight champion will face off in the Octagon against Alexander Gustafsson in UFC 165 on Sept. 21, "Bones" already took a shot at "The Mauler." Here is how the UFC Fighter Rankings’ No. 2 pound-for-pound on the planet responded to the No. 2 light heavyweight contender on Twitter three weeks ago.
Fighting Jones won’t be good for Gustafsson’s image. The champ is a heavy, 8-1 favorite over him, according to MMAjunkie.com. That’s the same probability oddsmakers gave Jones against Chael Sonnen, according to Odds Shark.
Sonnen failed to survive a single round against Jones, suffering a knockout 4:33 into their match at UFC 159. A similar, overwhelming title defense against Gustafsson wouldn’t be shocking.
The Swedish mixed martial artist has only competed against two of the UFC Fighter Rankings’ Top 10 light heavyweight fighters. Phil Davis, now No. 8, choked him out in the first round of UFC 112. Gustafsson defeated Mauricio Rua, now No. 7, this past December in UFC on Fox, but Jones beat Rua, too. He won by knockout.
Gustafsson isn’t even the No. 1 light heavyweight contender. Lyoto Machida is, and Jones defeated him in the second round of UFC 140 by technical submission.
A fan told Jones on Twitter after UFC announced the fighter’s next opponent that Gustafsson will challenge him. Jones wasn’t so sure.
Since Jones lost to Matt Hamill in 2009 for illegal elbows, he’s claimed victory by knockout or submission against every single one of his opponents not named Rashad Evans. There’s nothing in Gustafsson’s resume which suggests that trend will cease in September.
After Gustafsson and Jones’ Twitter exchange on May 24, The Mauler tweeted this at Bones the following day.
Taunting one of the world’s greatest fighters didn’t help Sonnen distract Jones. It won’t increase Gustafsson’s upset odds either.
David Daniels is a Breaking News writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.