Jon Jones Says Alexander Gustafsson is Close to a Title Shot

April 25, 2012
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Jon Jones

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is quickly running out of viable opponents to face in the 205-pound division.

UFC president Dana White recently confirmed that Dan Henderson will get the next title shot against Jones, but who waits in the wings for the champ if he defeats Henderson?

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva will have his work cut out for him, but one name keeps popping up when the subject of 205-pound contenders is discussed and that’s Alexander Gustafsson.

Gustafsson is on a five-fight win streak.  He’s an inch taller than the six-foot-four Jones, but is at a reach disadvantage.  They each have one loss on their resumes, although Jones’ lone defeat came by disqualification in a fight he was about to finish.

A striking battle between the two would certainly be compelling, but Jones doesn’t see any similarities between the two other than their height.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate people are comparing us,” said Jones.

“The only similarities that we have is we’re both tall, and that’s it. We’re completely different athletes. I have a wrestler base where I shoot and throw from the clinch, I kick fast and accurate; he has really great boxing,” continued Jones.

Jones isn’t sold on Gustafsson’s contender status. He feels the Swedish striker needs to win a couple more fights before being considered for an opportunity at UFC gold.

“Alexander Gustafsson, I think he’s pretty close to a title shot. I think maybe if he wins two more fights against some top guys, maybe like Lyoto (Machida) or Rashad (Evans) or somebody, somebody that can push him in different categories,” said Jones during the UFC 145 pre-fight press conference.

“I’d like to see him against another wrestler and I would like to see him against a worthy striker. Then I think a title shot would be very appropriate,” added the light heavyweight titleholder.

While Jones feels Gustafsson is a couple of wins away from challenging him for the belt, he enjoys watching Gustafsson fight.

“I like his demeanor, though,” said Jones.  “He has some swagger. He exudes winning from the second he steps in the cage. I think the kid has the potential to be a star.”

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  • Gustafsson needs to fight Nog or Bader around the time Jones fights Henderson and if Gustafsson wins, give him a shot at the belt. Not really many more people left at the top who are coming of wins.

    • phrankthetank

      True, but what happens if the swede loses? Who fights jones? (assuming he beats Hendo) this is the problem with his activity as a champion, he’s beating contenders faster than the UFC can build them up. They might have to force silva up to LHW.

      • Too bad Mousasi seems so unmotivated these days. He’d be an interesting fight for Jones if he had a little fire in his belly.

        I realize he’s in Strikeforce (although I’m not sure what his contract status is these days) and Zuffa told Showtime they’d leave some talent there, but if Dana and Co. really wanted him in the UFC and if Gegard was down for the challenge (and willing to be exclusive) they could move him over.

        • phrankthetank

          Mousasi is a beast but he’s gotta beat some legitimate condenders before he’s even an option. He got laid on by lawal, if king mo can neutralize him he doesn’t deserve to be in the cage with jones.

    • mich1fan

      1st of all I dont think you can give Gustafsson a title shot for beating silva, and overrated lil nog or bader. Look I get people are caught up in the moment, but he is at least 3 fights from a title shot. Your going to say he should get a title shot with out beating someone in the top 5. Thats absurd. His best win is over Silva, who is way overrated. Look up who silva has actually beaten. Not impressive at all. As of now he has 0 wins against guys in the top 10. He should fight bader next, then shogun or machida, depending where there at then, and then have to fight rashad. I dont think he is even in the class with 3 or 4 top guys right now. If you just match-up the 4 guys at the top with eachother, then they will be able to have someone coming in off a win, so its very easy to do that.

      • phrankthetank

        Jones has pretty much cleaned out the rest of the top 10, and anyone he hasn’t beaten has been soundly beaten by someone he has. Gustafsson is pretty much the only contender left after Hendo. He wins his next fight I pretty much guarantee he’s at least offered a title shot. 3 more fights??? Who is jones supposed to fight in the meantime?

        • mich1fan

          Just because the guy has beaten everyone else doesn’t mean someone who doesn’t deserve a shot should get one. At least make him beat 1 guy in the top ten and 1 in the top 5. How can you argue a title shot for a guy who hasnt beaten ANYONE. I would rather see rematches then see someone who doesn’t deserve the shot get it. At least in the rematches the guys have already fought him so they should be able to adjust quicker and be used to his reach. I think if he fought Gustafsson, it would be more dominant than any of the other guys he’s fought for the title.

          • phrankthetank

            What rematches? Jones has beaten rua rampage machida and rashad, since then rua has beaten Forrest and lost to hendo, rampage lost to bader, machida hasn’t fought and rashad didn’t earn a rematch. If Gustafsson wins his next fight and it’s against top competition, He’ll get his shot.

          • mich1fan

            You can put shogun against rashad, and/or bader against machida, and 1 of the winners would deserve it more than Gustafsson. Im just sayin in my opinion I think he is 3 GOOD wins away from a shot. The guy has beaten no one. I know the UFC will probably give him a shot if he wins his next fight, especially if the fans really want to see that fight. So i never said he wouldn’t get a shot, im just sayin I dont think he deserves it yet. Also I dont think he would stand a chance against any of the top wrestlers in the division, and dont bring me matt hamill cause I know he has already beat him, I mean top wrestlers not good wrestlers.

          • mich1fan

            Just look at his resume and tell me you honestly think he deserves to fight for the title with those wins.

          • phrankthetank

            You’re making the decision based on his resume this far, his next opponent will be someone in the top 5. He has to win that fight before he gets a shot. If he’s able to beat someone in the top 5 with his current win streak, how is he not worthy of a shot?

          • mich1fan

            I have to make my decision based on what he has done so far. I cant base it on something he may due in the future. To me you need more than 1 win against someone in the top 10 to deserve a title shot. I just hope they give him rashad so he can get dominated and it wont even matter. And if he’s going to get a title shot with 1 more win, than he cant fight bader or lil nog like that guy suggested, cause those are not big enough wins either.

      • XIRandomHeroIX

        They will definitely put anyone in there to face Jones after he wipes Hendo out of existence… It’s the same situation with Silva and GSP where the division is cleaned out and they will put anyone in that is on a mildly decent streak or even has 1 impressive victory just to keep the champ active and money coming in.

        • mich1fan

          I know what there going to do. Like you said and I already said, if Gustafsson wins next fight he will probably get shot. Im just saying I dont think he deserves the shot, thats all. Soon he will wipe out the entire division, more so than Silva and GSP, then they’ll have to just throw guys in there regardless if they deserve it.

  • Maybe Señor Chael could move up after he defends his MW title in July. Would be unfair to let Sonnen bully 2 divisions at the same time though.

    • Triggerman99

      I would pay good money to watch Sonnen get throttled in back-to-back matches against Silva and Jones.

  • KungPow

    This has nothing to do with the article but anyone else who watched the post ufc 145 press conference find Jon Jones very unprofessional? He interrupted Dana White to kiss his ass telling him he wears black on black better than anybody, and then he starts hitting on the russian journalist.

    • mich1fan

      You should have just stopped after you wrote this has nothing to do with the article, because that said it all.

  • zap

    If Silva beats Chael, he should move up to 205 to end his career. Getting bored of Anderson wiping himself with that division. Jones will struggle to stay at 205 as he gets older, but has probably a good year or two left. I’d like to see rematches with Machida or Evans, and maybe a fight with Gustaf after he’s a proven contender. But Jones keeps asking to fight at HW. I don’t think he’d do so hot against Cain or some other monsters up there. A 205 Silva fight would be amazing. Jones would take it tho.

  • badash

    Why does Jon Jones refer to other fighters as kids? Gustaf is exactly the same age as Jon Jones. Oh yes now I remember, its because you are so cocky and arrogant, no wonder the fans don’t like you.

  • lebronchainz

    post a pic of the guy u fuckheads