MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Jones/Gustafsson 2 On Deck For UFC 177

jones-gus The rematch to one of the greatest mixed martial arts matches of all time is likely to go down later this summer. Over the weekend, reported that the UFC has targeted August 30 as the date for the rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. The bout will headline UFC 177, which is set to take place at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. The only thing now that’s needed to make the fight official is the signature of the champ Jones, who has yet to sign off on the fight. Gustafsson, on the other hand, has already agreed to do the rematch. There’s no telling why Jones hasn’t signed off to make this rematch official yet, but it was obvious that Gustafsson gave Jones the toughest bout of his career back at UFC 165 and afterwards, Jones did everything in his power to steer away from an immediate rematch with “The Mauler” and instead get a matchup against Glover Teixeira, who Jones dispatched with ease at UFC 172. It could be that Jones is holding out for more money, or possibly more pay-per-view points, as the fight with Gustafsson is sure to be a massive sporting event when it presumably goes down this summer, but right now there’s no clear reason why he hasn’t signed the contract to fight Gustafsson a second time yet. It’s also possible that Jones doesn’t want to fight Gustafsson and that he instead will want to face Daniel Cormier, who defeated Dan Henderson in impressive fashion with a third-round rear-naked choke submission at UFC 173. Cormier is the only top contender at 205lbs that Jones has not fought yet, so it’s possible the champ would rather fight him than take on Gustafsson, who has already proven himself to be a bad matchup for “Bones.” But the UFC has already promised Gustafsson — and the fans — that the rematch between these two is next for both men, and so it wouldn’t be fair to anyone if Cormier skipped the line, even though he really does deserve his own title shot at 205lbs. Should this rematch between Jones and Gustafsson indeed go down this summer, I expect it to be a very competitive fight and there’s no doubt in my mind that the line is going to be a lot closer than it was the first time around, when “Bones” was a 9-to-1 favorite and Gustafsson was a 7-to-1 underdog. This time around, I expect Bones to be around 3-to-1 or possibly 4-to-1 at the high end, with Gustafsson only being a modest underdog and not a huge one. And considering what happened in their first fight, it’s hard to count the challenger out of the rematch. Although I’m interested in Jones vs. Cormier as well, I think Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 is the biggest fight the UFC can make right now and I really hope the champ puts pen to paper and signs off on what should be an amazing rematch between two of the best light heavyweights on the planet.

Written by Adam Martin.

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