The biggest UFC rematch of 2014 will be coming to Toronto. It’s official, Jon Jones will put his UFC light heavyweight title up against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 178. As expected with Bones, this rematch did not come without plenty of controversy.
[adinserter block=”1″]I can’t recall a UFC fighter who has had as much drama as Jon Jones has had in his or her UFC careers. Nothing is ever simple for Jones. Sometimes it’s good drama, yet the majority of trouble is not so good. Once again Jones put himself in the middle of controversy after refusing to fight Gus again. It took a final negotiation on Thursday between the UFC and the champ to get the fight signed.
Unless something changes from now to December and it can, this will be the biggest fight on paper for 2014. The fight rematches what some are calling the greatest light heavyweight title fight in UFC history. Jones survived a five-round onslaught against Gustafsson late last year. Yet even with what some call a controversial decision, Jones had very little interest in a second fight. Jones was reportedly more interested in a fight with undefeated UFC fighter Daniel Cormier, although he is now playing that down.
“I think Cormier is the tougher fighter, but the fans want to see me fight Gustafsson,” Jones stated. “There was never an issue with taking the Gustafsson fight. 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.”
While a lot of UFC fans may not want to hear this I have to be honest with you. Jones is right. Jones should be fighting Daniel Cormier. Gus-Bones I was a close fight and it was a fun fight but here are the facts. Gus gassed out and he didn’t beat him. As the challenger he needed to do more to win the fight. He didn’t. Jones survived and had more in the tank at the end of the fight than his challenger did. It was a great fight, no question, but I just don’t understand the outcry for a rematch so soon.
What has Gus done since the fight? He has one won fight against Jimi Manuwa. Taking nothing away from Manuwa and while he was undefeated, he wasn’t even considered a top five fighter. Shouldn’t a guy who lost the fight against the champion have to do more to get a rematch? I am still waiting to see Frankie Edgar get another shot at the lightweight belt after coming close to defeating Ben Henderson. While Cormier hasn’t gone out and beat what I’d call the best, he has fought higher ranked opponents than Gus. He does deserve the shot.
[adinserter block=”2″]Jones gets a lot of criticism for being a bad businessman but he is dead on here. His previous fight with Gus at UFC 165 did around 310,000 buys. Keep in mind that includes replay buys so if fans were so interested in seeing that classic, they would have ordered the replay the next day. That number is pathetic for a guy who is supposed to be the number one or two star. There was no business with Gus. He knows that and he knows that there is a much better chance that a fight with Cormier would do better business. I think an argument could be made that as great as their first fight was, Bones-Cormier could theoretically outdraw a rematch.
Regardless, the fight is coming and it is signed for UFC 178. Cormier will have to wait his turn, which may be a good thing since he reportedly has a knee injury. I look for Jones to retain the title in a fight that doesn’t go the distance. Gus gave him everything he had and couldn’t put him away. I don’t see anything different the second time around.