The rematch is on. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will defend his title on September 27 against No. 1-ranked contender Alexander Gustafsson.
The UFC confirmed the news on Thursday night following a meeting with Jones and his manager, Malki Kawa.
It has been an interesting week regarding the 26-year-old champion. News came out earlier in the week with his wishes on fighting Daniel Cormier instead of Gustafsson, but after the meeting at UFC headquarters in Las Vegas, he was swayed.
Per the UFC report, Jones wanted a later fight date due to attending his brother's wedding later this year.
I think Cormier is the tougher fighter, but the fans want to see me fight Gustafsson. There was never an issue with taking the Gustafsson fight," Jones said. "The issue was that my brother is getting married in July and I would have preferred a later date. I didn't want to go this early and i would have preferred to go later in October or November. It is what it is. We have a date now, Sept 27th. This was a personal decision for me. I will be at my brother's wedding and have a proper training camp.
The 2013 meeting was the Fight of the Year. Gustafsson became the first fighter to push Jones to the limit, and the champion escaped with a narrow decision victory. It was a back-and-forth battle that became an instant classic.
As of now, the September 27 date is scheduled for Toronto's Air Canada Centre. If that sounds familiar, it's because that was the site of the first Jones-Gustafsson meeting.
Fight fans can rejoice. They get the fight they wanted. Gustafsson vs. Jones II will kick off the fall season.