Alexander Gustafsson has been wanting a rematch between him and Jon Jones to happen soon. Apparently, the feeling is mutual.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion recently sat down with RT Sport, where he welcomed the idea of facing “The Mauler” in a rematch, as soon as his 15-month USADA suspension lapses in late October.
“I’ve been hearing about the possibility that Alexander Gustafsson will be the first person I fight when I come back, which I’m excited about,” Jones said. “A lot of people feel like he beat me the first time we fought, which didn’t happen, it was close, but he didn’t beat me.”
Jones and Gustafsson fought to a bloody five-round war at UFC 165 in 2013. “Bones” was awarded with a unanimous decision verdict to mark his sixth consecutive title defense, but it was also one of the rare instances where he was seen bloodied and beaten up.
According to Jones, it was because he was not taking his training seriously at the time, as he plans to do the exact opposite once the matchup gets finalized.
“So Alexander Gustafsson is a possible first fight back, I’d love to fight him again and take him seriously this time,” the 31-year-old Jones said. “The first time I fought him, I wasn’t living life the way a champion should be living life.”
“I didn’t train very hard for that fight, I’m not making excuses, but this is just the truth, I could have given it a lot more effort, I got fatigued after the first two rounds, which is something that never normally happens in my fights, so I feel like the next time I fight him, I will finish him.”
As for Gustafsson, the last time he stepped inside the cage was in May 2017, when he defeated Glover Teixeira via fifth-round KO.