Alexander Gustafsson serves as the perfect antidote to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones' in-cage brilliance.
He's the only fighter to ever push Jones to the brink of defeat, only to have the champ escape the Octagon's event horizon.
He's the one guy who possesses the physical demeanor and well-crafted skill set to one day secure his spot as the best 205-pound mixed martial artist under the sun.
That's why it's starting to seem more and more likely that Jones is ducking the towering Swede for the time being.
Gustafsson discussed their potential rematch and Jones' upcoming title defense opposite Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 later this month in a recent interview with Damon Martin of FOX Sports:
The thing is he knows -- he knows I'm a really bad matchup for him. He knows that. I don't think Jones is scared or he's trying to run or anything like that. He just knows that I'm a really bad matchup and he knows that we will fight one day. He knows that, but he's trying to avoid it as long as he can.
It's unclear whether Jones is really trying to "avoid" Gustafsson or just letting the light-heavyweight title scene play itself out, but it's no secret that a rematch with "The Mauler" would be the toughest test of the young champ's heralded career.
Now while Gustafsson took care of business opposite Jimi Manuwa back in March via second-round TKO to solidify his No. 1 contender rights, it will be Jones who will have to fend off Teixeira on April 27 to set what would be the biggest rematch in UFC history in stone.
Gustafsson revealed his thoughts on the light heavyweight showdown and why Jones ultimately picked an opponent like Teixeira:
He's a very dangerous opponent. I think he's a good fighter in every aspect -- he's a good striker, good wrestler and he puts everything together and he hits very hard. My prediction is I think Jones will win because I think Glover's a typical opponent for Jones. Jones wants to fight him because it matches up very good style wise.
For the sake of securing one of the most competitive and interesting rivalries in recent MMA memory, lets hope Jones is able to stifle Teixeira's power and pressure with range and precision.
Gustafsson should be in attendance.
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