Although his credentials are considered among the best in MMA, it's become clear to many fans that the champion is doing everything to avoid facing Alexander Gustafsson in the Octagon. Speaking to BT Sport (h/t MMA Fighting), Gustafsson believes it's obvious the champ is ducking him.
"If I look at Jones' perspective I don't think that's strange, because he tries to avoid me," Gustafsson said. "Everyone can see that. I can see that. He does what it takes to not fight me."
Following their epic clash at UFC 165 (a fight that many consider the best title fight in light heavyweight history), it seemed like it was all but a formality that they would meet for a rematch. Instead, Jones was scheduled to face Glover Teixeira.
If you'll recall, UFC President Dana White considered Jones' choice of fighting Teixeira over Gustafsson to be a "badass" move at the UFC 166 media scrum. Meanwhile Gustafsson was initially paired with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira but eventually faced Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 37.
Following Gustafsson's victory, Jones was less than enthusiastic about facing the Swede again. Instead, Jones thought it would be best for business if Gustafsson faced Daniel Cormier.
But Gustafsson believes that matchup doesn't make any sense.
"For myself, it doesn't make any sense. I think DC is a great fighter," he said, per MMA Fighting. "I respect him and I think he's a top contender, but I think he has to have another fight or two before he will fight for the title. The only thing that makes sense, in my mind, is me versus Jones next."
Cormier is on board with facing Gustafsson if an UFC title shot is the reward, but he firmly believes, like most MMA fans do, that Jones can't avoid facing both Cormier and Gustafsson again.
That is unless Jones decides it's time to head to the heavyweight division like he's discussed before.