Jon Jones will next defend his title in 2014. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones does not sound like a man who approves of the manner in which the Ultimate Fighting Championship determines its contenders.
In a Nov. 4 interview with MMAFighting.com, Jones questioned the process the promotion utilizes to determining the pecking order, citing the UFC’s handling of Alexander Gustafsson as evidence. The Swede pushed “Bones” to the brink at UFC 165 in September, losing a contentious decision at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Believed to be one win away from a rematch, Gustafsson was originally paired with a returning Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 36 on March 8 in London. However, an injury forced “Minotoro” to withdraw, leaving Gustafsson to face the unbeaten but relatively unproven Jimi Manuwa instead. Meanwhile, Jones will defend his light heavyweight crown against Glover Teixeira sometime in early 2014. The Brazilian challenger has won 20 consecutive fights, the last five of them inside the Octagon.
“I feel like they save all the dogs for me, and they just give the toughest guys the easiest matchups to get a title shot,” Jones said. “Let’s see some of these top contenders fight each other. Either way, I’m going to fight the toughest dudes anyway so it doesn't matter what journey they’re on, but I definitely am noticing that it just seems like these top contenders aren’t really fighting other top contenders at all.”
Items of interest on the Sherdog.net forums this week: