A long-awaited rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson is finally happening at UFC 232 on December 29th in Las Vegas.
Furthermore the fight will be for the UFC’s vacant light-heavyweight title after two-division champion Daniel Cormier was stripped of the title as he looks to defend his heavyweight belt instead against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230 next month.
A second fight between Jones and Gustafsson has been five years in the making since their first encounter proved to be an instant classic back in 2013, with the Swedish fighter giving ‘Bones’ what many people believe was his toughest test to date, taking him the full five rounds in a closely fought encounter before losing out by unanimous decision.
Gustafsson believed he’d done enough to win the fight and there was a great deal of talk about an immediate rematch between the two, but though that came close to becoming a reality, it never came to fruition.
Since then Jones’ career has been something of a rollercoaster ride, but he’s remained undefeated in the years since, beating Glover Teixeira, Daniel Cormier and Ovince Saint Preux, while a second victory over DC by KO last time out was amended to a no-contest after he tested positive for turinabol.
That led to Jones being stripped of his title, which was then handed back to Cormier, but having served a reduced suspension after proving that he had unwittingly taken the banned PED, he is now returning to the Octagon in an attempt to reclaim the belt.
As for Gustafsson, he has experienced mixed fortunes in the years since their first fight, going on to KO Jimi Manuwa before suffering back-to-back losses against Anthony Johnson and then Daniel Cormier – the latter of which was for the 205lb title and saw him narrowly lose out by split decision.
Since then he’s got back on track with wins over Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira to set up a third attempt to win the light-heavyweight strap.