The Ultimate Fighting Championship granted Jon Jones’ wish at UFC 165. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Jon Jones made his desire known to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Jones will defend his light heavyweight crown against surging Swede Alexander Gustafsson in the UFC 165 main event on Sept. 21 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, bypassing Lyoto Machida -- a man he defeated decisively in December 2011. Machida was believed to be the No. 1 contender at 205 pounds after his split decision victory over former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder Dan Henderson at UFC 157 in February.
In an interview with MMAFighting.com, Jones admitted he made it clear to UFC President Dana White that Gustafsson was his first choice.
“I beat Lyoto already,” Jones said. “Ultimately, it was Dana’s decision to match me up with Gustafsson and not Machida, but I did mention to Dana that I had already defeated Lyoto, and the UFC 140 pay-per-view numbers were pretty terrible. If you have a perfectly healthy, young contender who is on a rampage, why not keep new opponents, new excitement for the fans?”
Gustafsson has won seven of his eight bouts since joining the UFC four years ago. The 26-year-old last appeared at UFC on Fox 5 in December, when cruised to a unanimous verdict over onetime champion Mauricio Rua in Seattle. It was Gustafsson’s sixth consecutive win.
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