MANILA – UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones has finally agreed to face number one contender Alexander Gustafsson in a rematch scheduled in September.
Jones initially wanted a clash against undefeated Chris Cormier, but was later convinced by UFC officials to square off with his Swedish rival again.
Jones denied that his refusal to face Gustafsson has something to do with his near defeat to “The Mauler” in September last year.
“"I think Cormier is the tougher fighter, but the fans want to see me fight Gustafsson. There was never an issue with taking the Gustafsson fight," the light heavyweight champion said in UFC.com.
"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.”
The rematch will take place on September 27.
UFC President Dana White is pleased with Jones’ decision. He added that Cormier will get the chance to fight Jones if the champion defends his title against Gustafsson.
"Obviously Jon is right, this is the fight the fans want to see. The great thing about this is, we get Jones vs Gustaffson, 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 number one and two contenders," said White.