The rematch between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson is being planned for later this year. We just don’t know when or where. But whenever and wherever it takes place, it’s likely going to be the biggest fight of 2014.
The two first fought at UFC 165 on Sept. 21, 2013. Jones defeated the Swede by unanimous decision, but Gustafsson forced the champion to dig deeper than he’s ever had to before. The back-and-forth battle was named the 2013 Fight of the Year.
Following the title loss, Gustafsson ended Jimi Manuwa’s 14-fight undefeated record to earn his rematch with Jones. Jones defended his title for a record-setting seventh time at UFC 172 on Saturday, defeating the undefeated Glover Teixeira by a one-sided unanimous decision.
Before any date or venue can be planned, Jones has to recuperate from his five-round fight with Teixeira.
“We gotta make sure (Jones) is 100-percent healthy and then we'll plan this thing out,” said UFC president Dana White following the event’s post-fight press conference.
White predicts the rematch will produce big revenue numbers for the organization both in pay-per-view and ticket sales.
“It's a big one. (The pay-per-view buys) has the potential to be huge. And the gate on this thing is gonna be huge, depending on where we do it,” said White. “If we do it in Europe, I mean, this thing could do 50,000-60,0000 seats or more. If we go to Europe and do it, we will (do it in a stadium).”
The downside of doing the event in Europe is the event will be live locally in the wee hours of the morning to air at its normal 10 p.m. ET pay-per-view slot in the United States. Las Vegas hosting the event may be the better option.
“It would go at four o'clock in the morning (local time in Sweden). It'd be on the same time here (in the U.S.) or even if we took the fight to Vegas it would be a very big gate,” said the UFC president.