Dana White to Jon Jones: Alexander Gustafsson Is the No. 1 Contender

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Dana White to Jon Jones: Alexander Gustafsson Is the No. 1 Contender
USA TODAY Sports

UFC President Dana White is sticking to his guns in his belief that light heavyweight champion Jon Jones should  rematch Alexander Gustafsson in his next Octagon encounter. 

Speaking to Rick Wright of The Albuquerque Journal, the UFC's head honcho said that even top contender Daniel Cormier agrees that a second fight with The Mauler should be next on tap for Jones:

Gustafsson’s next in line. Even Cormier said, ‘Listen, I hope this whole things works out for me and I get the shot, but even I believe that Gustafsson deserves the next shot.’ (Gustafsson is) the No. 1 contender, he’s waited for this rematch and (Cormier) even agrees. ... 

You’re the champion, you’re the pound-for-pound best guy in the world, and he says he wants to be known as the best ever. Well, you don’t turn down opponents, you know what I mean?

In a quickly deleted Instagram post yesterday which predictably found its way to YouTube, Bones stated that he was more interested in fighting Cormier, an undefeated (15-0) former Olympian. 

Furthermore, he has already beaten Gustafsson, so he doesn't seem to see what the fuss is about there. 

The overwhelming majority of fight fans beg to differ, though, as Jones and Gustafsson put on a phenomenal five-round classic at UFC 165 in September, where the champ was bloodied and beaten to the point where he needed a hospital visit afterward. 

While many felt the challenger, who took plenty of stiff shots of his own, had done enough to unseat the seemingly unstoppable Jones, all three judges agreed that the champ did enough to earn a close decision victory. 

The 27-year-old Greg Jackson-trained MMA standout last fought at UFC 172 in April, easily outgunning Brazilian slugger Glover Teixeira in a one-sided five-round affair.  

Jones, the top pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC's official rankings, is currently riding an 11-fight win streak (eight finishes) and holds the UFC record with six consecutive light heavyweight title defenses.

Meanwhile, Cormier has offered to fight Gustafsson for an interim title if Jones opts to wait on the sidelines. 

Will Jones sign up for a rematch with Gustafsson sometime soon, or will he continue to wait it out until a deal to square off with Cormier is on the table?

 

John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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