Alexander Gustafsson is not best pleased with the UFC right now for not allowing him to fight Jon Jones again for the light-heavyweight title next, and he’ll no doubt be livid when he learns that Dana White has not only brushed off his protests, but is also eager to fight again before getting another shot at the belt.
“Gustafsson is upset, but it’s not like we took Gustafsson out of the fight,” White says on UFC.com. “Gustafsson got hurt and he’s out. Cormier stepped in and accepted the fight and this is the fight that is going to happen now.
“The reality is we had Gustafsson versus Jones, he was the number one contender, that was the fight. He got hurt. He fell out of the fight. Well, people can say, ‘Now Jones is hurt.’ Well yeah, but this is the fight that’s happening now.”
Earlier this week Gustafsson stated that as the current No.1 contender he now intended to sit out until his title shot against the winner of Jones Vs Cormier at UFC 182 in January, but White has other ideas.
“Gustafsson will probably fight again. We’ll probably do another fight for him. He’ll probably fight again to stay active, stay top of mind and the guy has to make money.”
White went on to say that current No.5 contender Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, “would make the most sense” as Gustafsson’s next opponent.
It’s a tough situation for ‘The Mauler’ who just a month ago was very much the flavor of the month at UFC HQ, a cover star on the EA Sport MMA video game and heading into potentially the biggest fight of the year against Jones, but his injury followed by the heat turning up dramatically in the rivalry between No.2 contender Cormier and the champion has left him back in the shadows for now.
On the bright side, for fans the potential of an entertaining striking battle between Gustafsson and ‘Rumble’ is a mouth-watering prospect and it’s rarely a good thing for a fighter to sit on the sidelines for over a year. On the other hand, after all the groundwork that’s been laid for a second meeting between Jones and Gustafsson, it would be a big disappointment if it doesn’t happen at some stage in the near future.