MANILA – Top contender Alexander Gustafsson was not very impressed with UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones' victory last weekend at UFC 172, saying "Bones" did not perform the way he used to.
Jones completely dominated Brazilian challenger Glover Teixeira to successfully defend his belt for the seventh straight time, and UFC President Dana White later said that it was Jones’ best performance.
But Gustafsson, who pushed Jones to the limit when they fought last year, disagreed with his boss.
“He was dominating Glover from the beginning, no doubt about it. But, I don’t know. It seemed like he didn’t perform like he used to,” Gustafsson said, as quoted by MMA Fighting.
“I thought that, I don’t know, he did enough to win the fight, basically,” he added.
Gustafsson implied that Jones wasn’t as “spectacular” against Teixeira as he was in previous fights.
“We used to see spectacular things with Jon Jones when he fights. He mixed things up and he did it in this fight, too. But he didn’t do it like he used to do in his previous fights,” said Gustafsson.
Gustafsson is expected to be Jones’ next opponent, in a fight that will be a rematch of their 5-round war that many considered to be the best fight of 2013.
Jones won that first encounter via a close decision, but Gustafsson believes he is in better position now.
“I think I’m in his head now,” Gustafsson said of Jones, who had refused to entertain questions about the Swedish fighter at the UFC 172 press conference.
“I think it’s all in his head now, and he gets irritated just by my name,” Gustafsson added. “I think that’s good. I’m not a trash talker, that’s not my thing. But if someone asks me, I’m going to say what I feel and what I think.”