The UFC is working towards booking a blockbuster rematch for the year end card with Jon Jones taking on Alexander Gustafsson on Dec. 29 at UFC 232.
UFC president Dana White told ESPN on Wednesday night that he hopes to book the highly anticipated rematch before the end of the year as Jones will become eligible to fight again after Oct. 28.
“It’s one of the greatest light heavyweight title fights in history and I expect the rematch to be the same!!!!,” White said in a text message.
Rumors have been swirling since last week about Jones’ return to the Octagon after he was handed a 15-month suspension from USADA after testing positive for a banned substance last July.
Jones ultimately received a reduced sentence in part because he cooperated with USADA by providing them information that could lead to more doping busts or even criminal investigations. The independent arbitrator also ruled that he didn’t believe Jones intentionally cheated regardless of the drug test.
While the fight is far from official, the UFC is obviously interested in booking the fight, although there’s been no mention of a title being on the line at this time. If the matchup comes together there’s virtually no chance the UFC wouldn’t at least crown an interim champion as a result of the fight with current light heavyweight king Daniel Cormier awaiting a heavyweight showdown with Brock Lesnar next year.
Jones and Gustafsson first met in September 2013 in one of the greatest fights in UFC history.
The back and forth battle ended with Jones getting his hand raised but Gustafsson pushed the longest reigning light heavyweight champion in history further than anyone else in his storied career.
Both fighters have expressed interest in the rematch in recent days and now it appears the UFC is ready to book the fight.
There’s no word on the timeline for the UFC to put the fight together but if Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 is finalized, it would join another title fight already confirmed for the year end card in December.
In a champion vs. champion fight, Cris Cyborg will face off with Amanda Nunes and adding Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 would only raise the profile of what could be one of the biggest cards of 2018.