Category Archives: Alexander Gustafsson

UFC champ Jon Jones open to Alexander Gustafsson rematch – but not in New York City

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Newly crowned UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is still weighing the options for his next fight, but he’s not shutting down the possibility of a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson.

Although a matchup between Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar (5-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has been the talk of the town after “Bones” reclaimed the 205-pound belt with a third-round knockout of Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) at UFC 214 10 days ago, there are many hurdles to clear before such a fight can occur.

Between his two reigns as UFC champ, Jones already has wiped out most of the elite in his weight class. Gustafsson gave him his toughest fight to date when the pair had the 2013 “Fight of the Year” at UFC 165, though, and the chance to run it back is something both fighters have expressed the desire to do.

No final decisions have been made, Jones said, but he’s open to the rematch with Gustafsson next.

“Every fight gets my blood flowing,” Jones told MMAjunkie. “I know how important it is to never underestimate anyone. I get up for every one. I think the Gustafsson fight is an option for us right now. We’re just going to wait and see. We’re weighing our options right now.”

Jones, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA pound-for-pound rankings, defeated No. 5 light heavyweight Gustafsson by unanimous decision in a bloody affair at UFC 165. Jones was pushed to his limit in that contest, but came through on top despite an admittedly lackluster training camp and frequent partying in the lead-up to the fight.

The pair was scheduled to rematch at UFC 178 in September 2014, but Gustafsson suffered an injury and was replaced by Cormier, who went on to have a multi-fight feud with Jones. Nevertheless, Gustafsson is riding a two-fight winning streak against Glover Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz, and “The Mauler” wants to finally have his rematch with Jones (via Twitter):

Jones said his preference going forward is to stay active. He’s targeting a return before the end of the year, but the opponent, date and location are still up in the air, he said. The UFC has five more pay-per-view events remaining on the 2017 calendar, but the one Jones surprisingly is not interested in goes down in his home state of New York.

UFC 217 takes place Nov. 4 in New York City. Jones said he once had dreams and aspirations of fighting at Madison Square Garden, but over time those apparently have fizzled. He said fighting in New York doesn’t make sense from a financial perspective, so whether his next fight is against Gustafsson or someone else, don’t expect it to go down in “The Big Apple”

“To be honest, I love being from New York, but my whole thoughts and dreams of fighting in New York – they’re kind of starting to fade,” Jones said. “Looking at it from a business standpoint, it’s not a really good idea to pay 9 percent to the state of New York off the top just for fighting here. With 9 percent of every $1 million, that will add up real quick.

“I realize people from all over the world are going to watch it, whether it’s in Vegas or Canada or wherever. It would have been great to be the first person to fight at Madison Square Garden, but now that it’s happened and everything … I want to do it eventually, but it’s not something that’s a dream the way it used to be.”

For complete coverage of UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site. And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter Mailbag: Was post-fight Jon Jones the real one, or just a convincing fake?

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In this week’s Twitter Mailbag, was the UFC light-heavyweight champion extending a sincere olive branch to his vanquished challenger, and where does all this leave the former champ’s legacy? Plus, is GSP-Bisping the fight that no one but the participants has been asking for? And can you really blackmail your way into an apology from the UFC president?

All that and more in this edition of the TMB. To ask a question of your own, tweet it to @BenFowlkesMMA.

* * * *

I think he was being sincere. The things Jon Jones said about Daniel Cormier immediately after the fight were not so different from what he said about him a few days before the fight. Talking to reporters after the open workouts, Jones called Cormier “a good (expletive) dude” and admitted to liking him as a person. What stopped them from getting along, he said, was that Cormier had this weird hangup that simply wouldn’t allow him to admit that Jones was better than he was.

Now, we hear that and we can spot the ridiculousness in the argument. Of course Cormier can’t admit that. He’s one of the best fighters in the world. His whole life is about being the absolute best. He’s not killing himself in the gym just to be second place. How could Jones not realize that?

I think the answer has to do with the inherent narcissism that comes with being the best fighter in the world. It’s so obvious to Jones that everyone else is just a character in his story. So why can’t they see it, and just be happy to have a supporting role in the great drama?

That’s where his head seemed to be at before the fight. Once Jones had knocked out Cormier, then he was free to let his guard down and admit that Cormier was a good guy and a great fighter. Why not? If you praise him now, it just makes you seem greater for having beaten him. And it’s not like anybody will get confused about who the best is while Cormier is stumbling around off-camera.

So yes, I think he meant every word. I also don’t think for one second that he would have uttered anything close to that if he’d lost.

The book isn’t closed on Cormier just yet. He could stick around at light heavyweight and still trash nearly everyone in the top 15. Or he could go to heavyweight and end up fighting for the title by this time next year. A lot depends on what he wants to do next, so it’s hard to make too many sweeping statements about his legacy.

That said, if it ends here? I wouldn’t be surprised if the collective conventional wisdom fails to give Cormier his due. He was champion in the absence of Jones, that’s true. In a different era, he might have been his own dynasty. In my book, that puts him ahead of Tito Ortiz and somewhere right behind Chuck Liddell. Both those guys should be glad they came along before Jones did.

Yes. However he wants.

Tempers seem to have cooled somewhat between Tyron Woodley and UFC President Dana White, but you’re right, that was not a great strategic move on the champ’s part. The problem with trying to blackmail your way into an apology is that even if you get what you want, what does it really mean? An apology given just to stop something bad from happening is completely insincere, thus defeating the entire point.

Then there’s the question of what you’re supposed to do about it if you don’t get the apology. Assuming Woodley really does have damaging info on the UFC, leaking it because the boss hurt his feelings would probably not improve his relationship with his employers. It also doesn’t turn him into some hero of transparency in the eyes of the public, because he already told us that the only reason he was telling secrets is because White wouldn’t say he was sorry.

Of course, if White doesn’t give you that public apology and then you back down from your leak threat anyway, it just makes you look weak and desperate.

That brings us to what actually happened in the end to resolve this situation (at least for now). According to White, he spoke to Woodley privately and smoothed things over. Also according to White, Woodley explained his outrage and his threats by saying that “he was just pissed and upset and didn’t mean it.” Maybe it’s just the source, but it kind of sounds like the apology went in the opposite direction.

I see the logic at work here, but how do you enforce something like that? Especially when MMA referees seem to have such a hard time enforcing the existing rules. What, do we require fighters to tell the ref in advance what they’re game plan is, so the ref can be on higher alert for illegal moves that might nullify it? Is the ref then required to share that info with the opponent, so he can know which type of cheating will be more severely punished?

The only fix I can see is that we either allow fence-grabbing or we don’t. And if we don’t, then why aren’t fighters punished as soon as they do it? It’s not like they’re learning the rules on the fly. And a fence grab isn’t like throwing an inside leg kick and accidentally hitting the groin. It’s something you can only do on purpose. So why aren’t you penalized the moment you do it, regardless of what your opponent’s game plan is?

There’s a growing sense that this is the fight no one asked for outside of Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre themselves. And that’s funny, since the reason they both seem so intent on it is because they’re convinced it will make a lot of money. But how does it make money if fans are lukewarm about it?

It’s possible that we’re just suffering from hype fatigue. They’re been talking this fight up for over a year, and still nothing. Maybe by the time it actually happens we’ll have changed our tune. The return of GSP is always going to be a big deal, and Bisping is so easily hatable whenever he opens his mouth that you know he’ll convince some people to pay just on the hope that he’ll get beaten up.

But right now? I can’t say I’m excited. There are so many compelling fights for Bisping at middleweight, and welterweight is going to need some help very soon. The more I think about this fight, the more it seems like we’re all being asked to go along so that the already rich guys can make more money. Maybe it’s just me, but that is not a compelling sales pitch.

Oh, Cameron. Are you really going to force me to be the jerk who points out that there is a difference between being a legend and just being old? Not that I don’t have a lot of affection for Daniel Kelly, who seems awesome, but he’s also 13-2 at the age of 39. Sam Alvey beat him in 2015, when he had to cover slightly fewer body parts in supportive wrap, but he still wasn’t exactly a young sprout back then.

Rashad Evans is a slightly different story (even if he does have a recent split-decision loss to Kelly). He’s also edging into his late 30s, but he’s a former UFC light-heavyweight champion. Then again, he’s on a three-fight losing skid and has dropped five of his past seven.

You really want to know how far this is from being a part of any kind of legends tour? Just look at where it is, in the middle of the main card at UFC Fight Night 114 in Mexico City, on the week after the biggest pay-per-view of the year. Does that seem like where you’d stick your legends, if you thought they still qualified as such?

I suspect you are not the only one, especially since the UFC chief recently went out of his way to disparage both champions who are slated to defend their titles at UFC 215. Plus, those other three fights each feature a former champ, and they’re all likely to be exciting, competitive matchups.

That makes you wonder how they’ll do on pay-per-view, doesn’t it? We know that the UFC has written Demetrious Johnson off as box-office poison. Amanda Nunes hasn’t been a huge draw either, and is probably less of one after pulling out of UFC 213 and getting scorched by the boss for it. But that undercard? How do you not pony up the dough to see those fights? Even if you’re not that interested in what follows.

This feels a little like a return to the old UFC strategy, back before it could rely on any one fighter to sell tons of PPVs. If the main attraction won’t do it, you have to make your case in the aggregate. Honestly, this lineup looks like a pretty good way of doing just that.

From the sound of it, Volkan Oezdemir likes that fight too, and he’s even suggested that the winner would be dubbed “the real king of Europe,” which is obviously pretty awesome.

If I’m Alexander Gustafsson, I might rather wait for Jones. But if Jones is holding out for a big money fight with someone like Brock Lesnar, how long does Gustafsson really want to sit around waiting and not making money?

As for whether “No Time” has it in him to be the division’s new knockout artist, early indicators are good. But let’s not forget that in recent years there’s been a major drop-off in talent in that division once you get past the top three or four. If Oezdemir wants to prove he belongs in that elite club, Gustafsson’s a tough test to get in.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Volkan Oezdemir calls out Alexander Gustafsson to determine 'real king of Europe'

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, UFC

Volkan Oezdemir knows he’s probably not going to get the next crack at new UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. So, instead, he’s going after the next best thing.

Following his 42-second knockout of Jimi Manuwa at UFC 214 this past Saturday, Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has called out former two-time title challenger Alexander Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) for a fight to “increase the value of the next title shot.”

The Swiss fighter said he not only views a matchup with Gustafsson as a No. 1 contender bout to get to Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC), but also thinks a showdown with the Swede would determine “the real king of Europe” (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

“Let’s increase the value of the next title shot! @alexthemauler and I need to figure out who is the real king of Europe! Alex, I know how great you are and I respect you a lot but I’m going to knock you out! Not because I want to just because I have to!
#jonesvsthekingofeurope #notime #newblood #iamdifferent”

Oezdemir, No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, has exploded onto the scene as a new face in the weight class over the past six months. He won his short-notice debut against Ovince Saint Preux at UFC Fight Night 104 in February. He followed that up with a 28-second starching of Misha Cirkunov at UFC Fight Night 109 in May, before stunning Manuwa in less than a minute at UFC 214.

No. 5 Gustafsson, meanwhile, is coming off consecutive victories over Glover Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz, which helped him rebound from a title-fight loss to then-champ Daniel Cormier at UFC 192 in October 2015. “The Mauler” is looking for a title shot of his own, and after putting on the 2013 “Fight of the Year” with Jones at UFC 165, appears to be looking for a rematch, not an encounter with Oezdemir (via Twitter):

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Jon Jones and UFC 214's other winning fighters?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The most significant UFC pay-per-view event of 2017 took place Saturday with UFC 214 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

In the main event, Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) reclaimed the light-heavyweight championship with a third-round knockout of rival Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC), completing one of the most tumultuous comeback stories in UFC history.

Additionally, Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) defended the welterweight belt while Cristiane Justino (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) won the vacant women’s featherweight title.

Other winners included ex-UFC champ Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) and rising 205-pound contender Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC).

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 214’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Volkan Oezdemir

Mauricio Rua

Should fight: Winner of Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux at UFC Fight Night 117
Why they should fight: Oezdemir’s arrival as a light-heavyweight contender reached another high when he put away Jimi Manuwa in just 42 seconds, marking his third consecutive win since his UFC debut less than five months ago.

Oezdemir still had questions around him after winning his first two UFC appearances in unexpected fashion, but there’s no doubting his legitimacy after he stopped Manuwa quicker than the likes of former 205-pound title challengers Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson.

In many cases, Oezdemir’s body of work would be enough for a title shot. Unfortunately, he’s in a division ruled by Jones, who’s seeking big-fight opportunities that Oezdemir simply doesn’t currently provide. That means he’s going to have to take another fight to further strengthen his case and get the champ’s attention.

Fighting the winner of September’s UFC Fight Night 117 main event between “Shogun” Rua (25-10 MMA, 9-8 UFC) and Saint Preux (20-10 MMA, 8-5 UFC) could be his avenue. Oezdemir beat “OSP” by split decision in his UFC debut earlier this year, but it was a short-notice fight. If Saint Preux wins, it may not make the most sense to rematch, but the thin nature of the 205-pound division may not give him any other option.

The best case scenario for Oezdemir is a Rua victory. The former UFC champ would be on a four-fight UFC winning streak if he beats Saint Preux, and while the Brazilian isn’t the same fighter he was in his glory days, he would still be a signature win for Oezdemir.

Robbie Lawler

Tyron Woodley

Should fight: Woodley
Why they should fight: Although he’s just one fight removed from losing the UFC welterweight title to Woodley at UFC 201 in July 2016, Lawler appears he could slide back into another title fight after his unanimous-decision win over Donald Cerrone.

Lawler vs. Cerrone was one of the most anticipated fights of the year, and for the most part, it lived up to the hype. “Ruthless” proved he’s still one of the best at 170 pounds when he went toe-to-toe with Cerrone and came out on top.

Although one win is arguably not enough to get another title shot, Lawler benefits from the fact the weight class is currently thin on worthy challengers. Most of the top-ranked fighters are coming off of losses, and the nature of Woodley’s fights since winning the belt from Lawler opens the door for a rematch.

If the first fight is any indication, Woodley is an awful style matchup for Lawler. But at the very least, it seems likely he would bring an entertaining fight out of the champ. Woodley has severely lacked that in his past two title defenses, and that’s to Lawler’s benefit in his quest to regain the gold.

Jon Jones, Tyron Woodley, Cristiane Justino

Should fight: Watch the video above to see why Jones should fight Alexander Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC), Woodley should fight Lawler, and “Cyborg” should fight Holly Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) after their UFC 214 title-fight victories.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 214's Volkan Oezdemir understands UFC might make Jones-Gustafsson 2, but wants title shot

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Upset-maker Volkan Oezdemir wants to climb the UFC light-heavyweight ranks faster than anyone else, which is fitting considering his nickname – “No Time.”

The way things are looking, Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) might have a shot. A 42-second knockout of Jimi Manuwa (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 214 pay-per-view main-card opener marked his third UFC win and second straight upset of a high-ranked opponent.

The only roadblock now is Jon Jones’ unfinished business.

“I think I proved that (I’m a top contender) because (Manuwa) was supposed to be fighting for the belt,” Oezdemir said after his bonus-winning knockout at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. “So my goal is to go for the belt right away and be the fastest rising guy for the belt.

“I understand, for sure, (if they give it to Alexander Gustafsson), because there is a beef with Jon Jones and Cormier, because both have tough five-round fights with Gustafsson, and I think the fans want to see (those) fights – the revenge. It’s a lot about what the people want to see, too. You’ve got to be able to make exciting matches. But I think I’m going to be able to make an exciting fight because I know I’m going to knock both of them out.”

Oezdemir didn’t know then that Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) would end up knocked out when Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) stopped him in the third round of Saturday’s main event with a head kick.

UFC President Dana White didn’t firmly commit to the promotion’s next move in the 205-pound class, which is once again topped by Jones after Cormier’s two-year reign. Brock Lesnar has even entered the mix.

But Oezdemir said he doesn’t want to wait around for Jones to determine his schedule.

“If I have to wait, I’ll wait, but I want to be active, too,” he said. “So I’m going to have to think about it.”

Oezdemir can count on one thing: a big jump in the top-15 list. He is now the No. 8 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, one below Manuwa. Count on a flip-flop.

The 27-year-old Oezdemir’s opportunities could lag behind his number. The good news? He’s still got time.

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Coach Winkeljohn: Jon Jones will finish Daniel Cormier, Alexander Gustafsson in rematches

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Jon Jones’ longtime coach, Mike Winkeljohn, guarantees the former UFC light heavyweight champion will not only show up for his UFC 214 title rematch with Daniel Cormier, but he’s going to win more impressively than the first time.

“Jon’s getting his title back – well, the title he never lost,” Winkeljohn told Submission Radio. “Yeah, he’s walking out back being the champ of the world again.”

UFC 214 takes place July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) challenges champion Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) in the pay-per-view headliner, which follows prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Jones was the longest reigning 205-pound champion in UFC history prior to being stripped of the gold in April 2015 following a hit-and-run incident. His final title defense before being stripped came against Cormier at UFC 182 in January 2015, with “Bones” winning by unanimous decision in the grudge match between the heated rivals.

In the more than two years since Jones was forced to give up his title, Cormier has taken over the throne and recorded consecutive title defenses against Anthony Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC). Jones has made it clear he believes “DC” is merely keeping the belt warm for him, though, and Winkeljohn said he agrees.

Although Jones controlled the majority of the 25 minutes of action in the first match, Winkeljohn expects an even better performance in the rematch. The pair has only that one fight but have gone through nearly four full training camps for one another. The preparation and plan of attack becomes more refined each time, and Winkeljohn said that should lead to a stoppage victory for Jones.

“I think it’s a different, shorter version of the first fight but playing out the same way,” Winkeljohn said. “I think Daniel’s going to get frustrated because he can’t get a takedown. He’s going to get frustrated because he can’t hit big bombs like he’s used to, and there’s going to be some frustration on his part.

“Jon’s focus is on point. When Jon gets on top of someone on the ground, it’s always a bloody mess with elbows, et cetera. He’s got great submissions from there too, and Jon can take Daniel down like you saw last time, there’s no doubt about it. But on the way, there are a lot of strikes that Daniel’s going to run into before he gets taken down.”

If Jones is able to conquer Cormier for a second time, it would likely spell the end of the rivalry between the longtime foes. Jones would then turn his complete attention to other members of the 205-pound division, but a rematch with Gustafsson appears inevitable.

“The Mauler,” who gave Jones arguably the most competitive fight of his career in a unanimous-decision loss at UFC 165 in September 2013, is coming off a fifth-round knockout of Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 109 last month. Afterward, the Swede made some harsh comments, which were not taken lightly by Jones.

Winkeljohn said that when the rematch does happen there will be some new tricks up Jones’ sleeve to allow him to get the job done more decisively than before.

“I have no problem with them doing whatever, talking the way they talk behind the scenes,” Winkeljohn said. “Whatever can get more pay-per-view sales, whatever’s going to make these guys more money and sell the fight, at the end of the day, that’s what you’ve got to do. But I definitely see it being a shorter fight and Jon finishing him.”

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Alexander Gustafsson calls out Jon Jones for taking PEDs, bragging about cocaine use

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson is not commonly seen talking badly about his opponents, but he hasn’t held back on former champion Jon Jones.

During a press conference after his beatdown of Glover Teixeira at last month’s UFC Fight Night 109, Gustafsson (18-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) said he didn’t believe Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC) was a “good person.” Jones fired back on Twitter, prompting an exchange that had Gustafsson saying the result of their thrilling UFC 165 encounter would have been different had USADA been in play in September 2013.

During an interview with “The MMA Hour,” the Swedish fighter doubled down on his press conference remarks and said he suspected Jones has used performance enhancing drugs.

“I believe so, I believe so,” Gustafsson said. “I think he’s been doing a lot of stuff that he shouldn’t be doing. It’s tragic to say, but I believe he’s been doing (expletive) he shouldn’t be doing for a long time.”

Asked whether he felt PEDs were in play ahead of Jones’ last battle, a victorious UFC 197 effort over Ovince Saint Preux to which Jones showed up in particularly muscular form, Gustafsson said he wasn’t sure. But asked whether he felt that was the case for his own UFC 165 scrap with Jones, Gustafsson was straightforward.

“I think so, yeah. I think so.” Gustafsson said. “He hadn’t been in the cage for a while when I fought him and stuff like that. I don’t know if he was on it or not for that (Saint Preaux) fight, but I believe when we fought and everything like that. But anyway, it’s history now. And new times are coming. And we probably will fight again some day.”

Gustafsson reiterated how he feels about Jones’ undeniable athletic achievements, dubbing him “probably the greatest fighter we’ve ever seen.” But he was once again very critical of the ex-champ’s attitude – especially his nonchalant approach to recreational drug use during the UFC Summer Kickoff press conference.

“I don’t like how he’s talking on the stage, doing the cocaine thing, with so many young people, kids and everything, looking up to him,” Gustafsson said. “I just feel like, man, come on. I don’t support that stuff at all. So, I just told the media what I think of him.

“He’s been getting caught for everything. It feels like it’s just one thing after the other. But then when he was sitting on the stage with (champion Daniel Cormier), and he just said he did cocaine a week before he fought him. And he’s not even embarrassed telling that stuff; he’s just proud telling that stuff. For me that’s just … You don’t do that, come on.”

Although he was the victor of 2013’s “Fight of the Year” battle with Gustafsson, Jones would later say that he felt he “should have lost” considering all the partying he’d done leading up to it. Asked about his thoughts on Jones’ claims that he wasn’t 100 percent for the scrap, Gustafsson  just doesn’t buy it.

“Well, I don’t know what to say,” Gustafsson said. “I just know he was in shape for that fight. And I was in shape for that fight. And, in many eyes, people believe I won that fight. And this may be one of his excuses. He didn’t dominate me like (he had) been dominating everybody else.

“It was a tight fight. I just think that’s one of his excuses, that maybe he didn’t finish me or he didn’t dominate me, didn’t win every round. So, that’s just the way he talks.”

Gustafsson’s future is unknown. With Jones and Cormier set to rematch at July’s UFC 214 headliner, and fellow contender and friend Jimi Manuwa facing Volkan Oezdemir on the same card, Gustafsson is still unsure whether a third title shot is next for him.

But if he is to face the winner of Cormier-Jones, Gustafsson is fine with whatever outcome.

“I’m excited to see the fight, first of all,” Gustafsson said. “I have to be honest, I like D.C. For me, he’s a worthy champion, he’s a good guy. So I hope he wins. But I wouldn’t say no to a fight against Jon Jones either. That’s the fight that people want to see, and I will fight him. So let’s see what happens.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie