Jon "Bones" Jones chose to fight Glover Teixeira instead of giving an immediate rematch to Alexander Gustafsson. And all he did is prove that he's a true fighting champion with this decision.
Jon Jones will face Glover Teixeira, not Alexander Gustafsson, during his next fight http://t.co/Y1lzvRgumq— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 26, 2013
Sure, everyone wants the rematch because of how close Gustafsson-Jones I was. And we'll all get a rematch eventually. Especially since Jones and Gustafsson are the ripe old age of 26. They'll have many fights with each other in true Chuck Liddell-Randy Couture fashion.
But Teixeira deserved a chance to have a title fight. At 33 years old, he's one of the top three light heavyweights in the sport. He also won a title-fight eliminator with Ryan Bader and deserves his shot at the top. Teixeira might be the best fighter in the division to have never seen a UFC title shot.
He's was finished only once and that was in his first professional fight. Teixeira's 22-2 record includes a 20-fight win streak where his last defeat was over eight years ago to Ed Herman in just his fourth professional fight. It's safe to say that Teixeira earned the right to fight Bones.
On the flip side of the coin, some could say that Jon Jones is trying to duck out of the immediate rematch to Gustafsson where he narrowly defeated his best competitor yet by a score of 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47 on the three score cards.
But that doesn't really seem to be the case here. This would be like people claiming that Muhammad Ali was ducking a Joe Frazier rematch when he took "The Rumble in the Jungle" fight with George Foreman in 1974. Teixeira is just as good as Gustafsson if not better.
There's three great fighters sitting at the top of the 205 pound class. Why should Teixeira have to wait after winning a title eliminator?
Why should Jon Jones be forced into a rematch with Gustafsson when he could have a fight that is just as good or even with Glover Teixeira?
Most of all, why do people think that Jones is going to just steamroll Teixeira like he's nothing?
If anything, Jones took what looks to be a fight that is as tough or tougher than a rematch with Gustafsson would have been. He's a fighting champion much like the great heavyweight boxers of the 70s, 80s and 90s were.
Jon Jones has even said that he wants a rematch according to Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com:
Jones, however, elected to pursue a seventh title defense against Teixeira, while promising a rematch with Gustafsson immediately after.
"I said before the [Gustafsson] fight my sights were set on breaking the record," Jones said in a statement released by the UFC. "I want to crush the record. I want to beat the record so bad it can never be broken.
"I'm going to fight Glover and I will answer all the critics about the Gustafsson fight. I will fight Gustafsson after I fight Glover. I won the fight but I look at it as a blemish on my record because some people think I didn't. I promise you, he will be next."
So let's not criticize the man or act like spoiled children because we didn't get an immediate rematch. It's not like the two men can't fight again. And it's not like Jon Jones isn't open to a rematch eventually either.
Jones didn't say the fight isn't going to happen. He just said that it's not going to happen right now. Why can't we be just a little patient?
Because as they say, good things come to those who wait.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.