Jon Jones made headlines earlier this month when it was revealed that he didn’t wish to defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Alexander Gustafsson, his mandatory challenger, and would rather face Daniel Cormier.
Cormier is coming off a brutal submission win over Dan Henderson, who was beaten and finished with a Rear-Naked-Choke in round 3, which rendered him unconscious. This was Cormier’s second fight at Light Heavyweight, which he settled into with ease.
Still, the statement was perplexing for some.
Gustafsson, for one, just recently knocked out Jimi Manuwa, and, subsequently, lost a close decision to Jon Jones, which the crowded majority of viewers felt he won.
Jones isn’t dodging a second bout against Gustafsson, and he definitely isn’t shying astray from a sure-to-be heated affair with Daniel Cormier. These are three elite Light Heavyweights with a lot hanging in the balance.
Cormier, 35, has desolating wrestling, which allows him to grind down his opponents before they can even get into the fight. His ground and pound is fearsome, but he can also box off his feet, scoring six of his wins by knockout.
Gustafsson, 27, is younger, and nearer to his peak. The Swedish combatant is 6’5, and uses that, and his arm length to out strike his opponents on his feet.
Jon Jones matched facilely with Gustafsson in their first fight. There was respect prior to their fight-of-the-year candidate, but, in the cage, it was bombs away, and a rematch was all-but-guaranteed.
Would Cormier provide such action? Maybe.
Stylistically, Cormier could pose numerous problems if he’d work the fight to the ground, but, on his feet, Jones might just clobber the older Cormier, who has yet to lose in his MMA career.
Still, it was announced on June 5th by the UFC that Jones has agreed to honor his mandatory obligation. Jones Vs Gustafsson II is set for September 27th at UFC 178 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada!