Jon Jones believes he’ll definitely meet Alexander Gustafsson in the cage again down the road.
Jones reclaimed the UFC light heavyweight title on Saturday at UFC 232 with a dominant win over Gustafsson in the event’s main event. The long-awaited rematch took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Jones first defeated the ‘Mauler’ in September 2013, during his first reign as 205-pound champ. It was a very competitive affair that earned ‘Fight of the Year’ honors. The rematch, however, was rather lopsided. Jones pounded Gustafsson out on the ground for a third-round TKO finish.
It’s not clear what is next for ‘Bones,’ and it’s safe to say that Gustafsson needs to return to the drawing board and get a couple more wins before he’s back in title contention in the light heavyweight division. However, Jones said after his title win that he expects to face off with Gustafsson for a third time in the future.
“I feel like we are going to fight again,” Jones told ESPN after the fight. “He’s a top dog in the light heavyweight division.”
Jones added at the post-fight press conference: “I think [the story of who is better is] closed. But I also am smart enough to know that Gustafsson will fight his way back to the top. A third fight’s inevitable.”
UFC president Dana White said Gustafsson would have to win at least a couple more fights to get back into the mix at 205 pounds. Gustafsson has fought Jones twice and Cormier for the title, falling short all three times. It’ll take a lot to prove himself worthy of a fourth title shot, White said.
“There’s so many factors that go in to where he ends up,” he added.
Jones said if a Gustafsson trilogy happens, he hopes the Swede would work on his ground game ahead of the fight.
“The biggest mismatch in the fight was the ground difference,” Jones told ESPN. “He didn’t really have much on the ground. I would look for him to make some adjustments. … To make it a more competitive fight the [third] time, he needs to do more ground work.”
Jones said that Gustafsson is still one of the best fighters in the division, so that gives him confidence that the three-time title challenger will rebound well from this latest setback.
“For him to keep his head high, that’s what I would like to see from him,” Jones said at the post-fight press conference. “Keep his head high and know that he is right there with the top of that division.”