UFC 165: Best Opponents for Jon Jones After Major Victory

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - APRIL 08:  UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones  is interviewed during a Jon Jones / UFC  media event at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness Academy on APRIL 8, 2013 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  (Photo by Steve Snowden/Getty Images)
Steve Snowden/Getty Images

Jon Jones’ unanimous-decision victory over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 on Saturday pushed the light heavyweight champion as much as he has been pushed in a title defence thus far in his career.

The Swedish challenger can count himself unfortunate not to have come out on top of even one judge’s card. Jones’ hard-fought win gave the reigning champ a reminder that the rest of the division is hot on his heels.  

With the win behind him, it’s onward and upward for the world’s pound-for-pound No. 1-ranked fighter, who has several particular options ahead of him for his next encounter, including a few cross-weight suggestions.


Daniel Cormier

SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 15:  UFC Heavyweight fighter Daniel Comier works out at AKA San Jose on February 15, 2013 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

A fighter whom Jones has been going back and forth with for some time now, Daniel Cormier is somewhat of an outside bet to face the reigning champ next.

Appearing on The Jim Rome Show recently, Jones said that he “doesn’t respect him [Cormier] at all,” and that he “definitely won’t get a title shot.”

For "Bones," taking on the wrestler would be all risk and little reward. Cormier would either need to drop down to light heavyweight, or Jones would have to bulk up to move to heavyweight.

While the 26-year-old may have moved to dissuade the suggestion of a Cormier meeting, stranger things have happened in the UFC, so the matchup can’t be ruled out.


Glover Teixeira

Gustafsson made Jones look as ordinary as ever before, showing that he is in fact human and just as vulnerable to a loss as any other fighter.

It seems Glover Teixeira knew this all too well before UFC 165 had even taken place. He was quoted by MMA Fighting as saying “every phenom has his day.”

The Brazilian is right and has every reason to be confident, given the manner in which he finished off Ryan Bader three weeks ago.

Speaking on a potential fight with Teixeira, Jones is reported by MMA Fighting as saying that the South American won’t be the man to beat him, but the veteran is nonetheless among the most logical next steps for the champion.


Alexander Gustafsson

Given the manner in which he lost to Jones, it’s not surprising to hear that Gustafsson is ready for another round with Bones.

Talking to Fox Sports (h/t Sherdog’s Mike Whitman), “The Mauler” said that he’s “down whenever” and would want a rematch “right away if I can.”

While it may not have been expected in the build-up, Gustafsson took Jones far closer to the wire than many anticipated and gave the kind of performance that fans would almost certainly pay to see again.