It had been rumoured for a number of weeks but finally light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has signed on the dotted line and will rematch Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 178 on September 27. The event is set to be hosted in Toronto, Canada – the fourth appearance in the city for Jones in a row – though the UFC’s official press release to announce the bout did not confirm the venue.
Gustafsson signed the paperwork to fight Jones in a rematch at UFC 177, though the terms of the deal have now changed, with the rematch coming a month later.
The rematch hit a snag when Daniel Cormier put in a dominant performance against Dan Henderson at UFC 173 and put himself right in the mix. With Cormier calling out Jones and the two exchanging words, the rematch looked destined to wait while the UFC were expected to book Cormier against the champ.
That is when Dana White came out and confirmed that Alexander Gustafsson was next in line and he was meeting with Jon Jones and manager Malki Kawa on Thursday. Jones agreed terms, and will now face Alexander Gustafsson as he attempts to defend his belt for the eighth time. Jones stated that he had no issue fighting Gustafsson next,
“There was never an issue with a contract. I was traveling and finally got to Vegas and got to talk with Dana and Lorezno. We talked and September 27th, I’ll be fighting Gustafsson.”
The pair squared off at UFC 165 in a historic match-up that won the Fight of the Year in 2013. Gustafsson caused the champion a number of problems, cutting Jones, stuffing takedowns and getting a couple of takedowns of his own in an admirable performance. Though Jones ultimately won the decision, the close nature of the bout and unanswered questions make a rematch a no-brainer.
The terms, however, were not ideal for the champ (h/t UFC.com).
“I think 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 27th. This was a personal decision for me. I will be at my brother’s wedding and have a proper training camp.”
In one of the most highly anticipated bouts of the year, Jon Jones will defend his UFC light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 178. The event is expected to be hosted in Toronto, Canada, though the UFC are yet to confirm this.