Mixed martial arts fans have a date, now start getting excited about the re-match.
With just two words, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones told mixed martial arts fans of the news they had been dying to hear.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) June 6, 2014
Jones is referring to the much hyped re-match between he and Alexander Gustafsson, which his now set to headline UFC 178 and be held on September 27 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The bout had been linked with Gustafsson’s home country of Sweden, which would have been a massive boon for the UFC and the challenger.
However, the neutral venue sees Canada continue to host some of the biggest title fights in the last five years with the champ insisting on a slightly later date that the previously mooted card of UFC 177 which is on August 30.
“I think (Daniel) Cormier is the tougher fighter, but the fans want to see me fight Gustafsson,” Jones said.
“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.
“It is what it is. We have a date now, Sept 27. This was a personal decision for me. I will be at my brother’s wedding and have a proper training camp.”
Cormier, who is coming off a stunning victory over Dan Henderson only to then call out Jones after the fight, might elect to take an fight between now and when he gets his chance.
But according to UFC president Dana White the former Olympic wrestler is a lock for the number one contender and will fight whoever holds the gold at September 28.
“Obviously, Jon is right: This (Jones v Gustafsson II) is the fight the fans want to see,” White said.
“The great thing about this is we get Jones vs. Gustafsson, and if Jones beats Gustafsson, we get Jones vs Cormier. Two great fights in the light heavyweight division with three of the baddest guys in the world – the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world and champion Jon Jones and the No. 1 and No. 2 contenders.”
Jones earned a win over the Swede in their first at UFC 165, however, the unanimous decision to the American left a bitter taste in many fans’ mouths and only heightened the desire to see the men lock horns again.