Jon Jones will make his return to the Octagon since his last appearance at UFC 214, and it’s for a rematch that has been five years in the making.
It has been recently confirmed that Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) and Alexander Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) will fight for the light heavyweight title at UFC 232 in December. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani initially reported it, and it was later said to be confirmed to MMAjunkie.
This bout will be for a vacant light heavyweight title, which means current dual-division champ, Daniel Cormier, will be stripped as soon as the fight starts.
Breaking: Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 is set for UFC 232 on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas. More: pic.twitter.com/sB49isFzFZ
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 10, 2018
Jones vs Gustafsson 1
Jones defended his light heavyweight title against Gustafsson back in 2013 at UFC 165. It was a close fight between the two rivals, and it was believed to be the time when Jones almost lost his title to a challenger. Yet, he managed to keep his belt via unanimous decision.
He last competed in a bout against Cormier on July 29, 2017, at UFC 214 in Anaheim, California. Jones supposedly won with a knockout on the third round, but the promotion overturned the results. It was after he failed a pre-fight drug test, so they returned the light heavyweight title to Cormier.
Jones was suspended for 15 months, and after prolonged negotiations with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, he is now eligible to return by October 28.
Gustafsson, on the other hand, hasn’t been the luckiest in his UFC career. The 31-year-old Stockholm native gone just 3-2, with a loss to Cormier at UFC 192 via split decision.
He was only able to fight once in 2016, wherein he defeated Jan Blachowicz by decision. And in 2017, he also only fought once, with a knockout win over former title challenger Glover Teixeira.
DC Knew It All Along
With the sudden announcement that the light heavyweight title has become vacant, a lot of fans might have been wondering how champ-champ DC feels. Well, he knew it all along.
Cormier, who will defend his heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis in November at UFC 230, has mentioned about the UFC wanting him to be stripped of his light heavyweight title. During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, DC revealed about the promotion’s plans with his 205-pound belt. They wanted him to relinquish it to make way for Jones vs Gustafsson 2.
“Everybody knows how I feel about Jon Jones,” Cormier said. “It’s been tense, to say the least, with my interaction with the company if indeed they offer a title fight to him. I have to maintain a sense of professionalism.” (via MMAjunkie)
DC admits that he doesn’t entirely agree with the idea, but it’s finally going to happen.
UFC 232 Card
Now with the addition of Jones vs Gustafsson, this UFC 232 card now includes:
Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson – for light heavyweight title
Cris Cyborg vs Amanda Nunes
Corey Anderson vs Ilir Latifi
Ryan Hall vs B.J. Penn
Arnold Allen vs Gilbert Melendez
Michael Chiesa vs Carlos Condit
UFC 232 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view.