Jon Jones versus The World
By Christopher Jester
The Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson vs. the UFC and the fickle (yet correct fans) has gone on long enough. The quicker it gets here the better, and for more than just one reason. There is no doubt that this is a fight that many fans want to see. If anything fans want to see if Jones can repeat a comeback or can he dominate as he is so used too in previous fights.
Jon Jones has ruled over the light-heavyweights for many moons now. It almost seems unnatural if he does not overwhelm his opponents with his technical prowess. Unmatched in every fight except that first fight with Gustafsson (which many thought he lost), Jones still felt like the UFC bullied him into this second fight against Gustafsson. While he wanted to fight Daniel Cormier, he was instead paired up with Gustafsson again after a long drawn out dispute between Jones and the UFC.
Jones would later backtrack and say that Gustafsson deserves the fight because the fans want to see that fight more and now Jones is finally paired against the man who nearly beat him. Scheduled for UFC 178, Gustafsson gets his opportunity to dispatch the long-reigning champion, once again.
Gustafsson seems like someone with nothing to lose but that is far from the case. A loss here would set the contender back a bit. Losing unanimously or by split decision could make put him in Junior dos Santos territory, where a third fight is not completely out of the realm of possibility. If Jones finds a way to completely take Gustafsson apart though, then it would simply look like Jones took the Swedish fighter too lightly in the first fight. Most doubt that will happen, but if such a scenario plays out Gustafsson would fall back in the pecking order with Cormier the next option.
Speaking of Cormier, the UFC should almost want Jones to win to make a headlining match-up between Jones and Cormier. This is a fight that has the potential to be just as explosive as Jones-Gustafsson II but with an added spark. With Cormier getting surgery on his knee, he could return and assume his prior stance, a greater threat in power and wrestling than Gustafsson. Jones versus Daniel Cormier would be another out of the park victory for the UFC.
Jones has been on the opposite end of the fan’s approval before. That is no surprise, but he is giving the fans what they want instead of what he wants. That is a step in the right direction. Jones may face scrutiny from the fans but he willingly wears the cross hairs. The UFC can bank on Jones making headlines, win or lose, and if Cormier is next in line, we will be back at this all over again very soon.
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