With Jon Jones being cleared to make his Octagon return as early as next month, naturally, many have speculated on whom “Bones” will face in his first bout back. One name that has emerged more often than the other is that of Alexander Gustafsson, who himself has been lobbying for a rematch with Jones. Jones has been hearing the same rumblings:
“I’ve been hearing a possibility that Alexander Gustafsson will be the first guy I fight when I come back, which I’m excited about because a lot of people feel like he beat me the first time we fought, which didn’t happen. It was close, but he didn’t beat me,” Jones said in a recent interview with RT Sport. “So yeah, Alexander Gustafsson is a possible first fight back, and I’d love to fight him again and take him seriously this time.
“The first time I fought him, I wasn’t living my life the way a champion should be living his life. I didn’t train very hard for that fight. I’m not making excuses, but this is just the truth. I could have given it a lot more effort. ”
That first fight (UFC 165) is regarded as easily one of the greatest fights in the history of the UFC. The first three rounds were each razor close, with Jones outstriking Gustafsson statistically in all three, prior to pulling away in the championship rounds. Both Gustafsson and his supporters have been vocal about their opinion that Gustafsson was the rightful winner, and both sides of the argument would love a sequel. There was hopes that the fight could headline UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden, but Dana White has shot down those rumors, stating that Jones is not in the running for the card’s main event.
Should Alexander Gustafsson be the first opponent for Jon Jones when Jones makes his return?