A rematch between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson seemed like a done deal last week. It’s the fight the UFC wants and the fight the fans want. Gustafsson has signed his bout agreement. The only thing standing in the way of making a rematch of the 2013 Fight of the Year is the champion.
Critics immediately started accusing Jones of running from Gustafsson and calling him a coward. Jones posted a video to his Instagram account on Tuesday addressing those critics (watch the video here).
Gustafsson posted a message on his Facebook page on Tuesday urging Jones to sign the bout agreement.
“Jon ‘Bones' Jones, be a man, be a champ and sign that bout agreement and stop running. Keep in mind that after I beat you and become the champ I might be doing the same to you when you chase me for a rematch, as a revenge for not accepting my challenge,” wrote the 27-year-old Swede.
“Sooner or later you will have to face me, just make it sooner! The fans want this fight, UFC wants this fight and I want this fight, and I damn deserve it,” added the top 205-pound contender.
White spoke with the Albuquerque Journal on Wednesday and reiterated that Gustafsson is next in line.
“Yeah, definitely. 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,” said the UFC president.
White also expressed his frustration with the situation and Jones' penchant for seemingly shooting his legacy in the foot.
“It’s just one of those things that sucks, to be honest with you. As soon as that kid (Jones) starts to build some steam and starts to become the star that you think he can be, he comes out and doesn’t want to fight somebody,” said White. “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? You’ve got to fight all the best in the world, anyway. You’re the man; everybody’s gunning for you.”