After an epic light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165, the prevailing opinion seemed to be that an immediate rematch was in order. Jones defended his title for a record-setting sixth straight time in an instant classic, securing a unanimous decision victory after five brutal rounds. It was easily the toughest challenge of Jones’s career and the best performance of Gustafsson’s.
The fight in Toronto generated such buzz that it seemed as though top contender Glover Teixeira’s promised title shot against the winner would have to wait. Well, that won’t be the case. Jones has asked for Teixeira next, and that fight is being targeted for Super Bowl weekend in New Jersey.
Jones believes that Teixeira should get the opportunity that he was promised and that the Gustafsson rematch will come after that. Jones also intends to silence his detractors with a strong performance against the hard-hitting Brazilian after getting such a huge scare against “The Mauler.”
Teixeira shapes up as another formidable challenge for Jones as he is a perfect 5-0 in the Octagon, and cemented his spot as top contender with a first-round stoppage of Ryan Bader at Fight Night 28 in Brazil. Teixeira, who has won 20 fights in a row, is a powerful striker who possesses good submission skills, but doesn’t have the height and reach of Gustafsson.
In an era where immediate rematches have been commonplace for the organization, there will no doubt be many fans who are both surprised and disappointed that Jones-Gustafsson 2 won’t be immediately on deck. With the title fight ranking as one of the best in UFC light heavyweight history, it seemed as though the rematch option would take priority, but that won’t be the case.
Teixeira no doubt is thrilled by the news as he had expressed concerns about having his promised title opportunity delayed because of all the post-fight rematch discussion. Gustafsson will likely be disappointed, but at least according to UFC President Dana White, he will get a homecoming fight in Sweden in early 2014.
If Jones takes care of his business against Teixeira and Gustafsson does likewise, then we can all get excited about the rematch talk again.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports