The sequel to the greatest title fight in UFC history should be etched in stone by the year’s end when Jon Jones defends his title for a second time against Alexander Gustafsson.
Gustafsson did his part in securing another crack at the light heavyweight king with a TKO win over Jimi Manuwa a little over a month ago.
On Saturday night, Jones made the highly anticipated rematch a done deal by smoking Brazilian slugger Glover Teixeira in a lopsided unanimous decision at UFC 172. At the post-fight media scrum, UFC President Dana White gushed about the potential ticket sales and venue for Jones vs. Gustafsson:
It has the potential to be huge. The gate on this thing will be huge too, depending on where we do it. It’s a big fight. It is a big, massive fight. If we do it in Europe, this thing could do 60,000 seats or more.
Last September, Jones and Gustafsson put on a “Fight of the Year” performance that left fans begging for an immediate rematch. It may not have been immediate, but fans will finally get the fight they’ve been asking for.
All three judges scored the first bout in favor of Jones, but the fight truly could have gone either way. During an appearance on The Jim Rome Show, Jones claimed he only went 80 percent in training camp when preparing for Gustafsson.
The rematch has a chance to clear up any and all fluke talk.
Gustafsson has an opportunity to go out there and prove that he is on Jones’ level. For Jones, it’s all about widening the gap between himself and the rest of the light heavyweight division. He wants to silence any lingering critics by finally putting the last fight with Gustafsson to bed.
Along with Daniel Cormier, Gustafsson stands as one of the last great walls of defense in halting Jones’ historic title reign.
Will the second time be the charm for the Swedish kickboxer?