In what has become a regular butting of heads, UFC president Dana White has offered up more words for light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who has not signed his bout agreement to face Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 177 in August. Jones apparently is more interested in fighting Daniel Cormier, who is supposed to be waiting for the winner of Jones-Gustafsson. It's a messy situation that has White anything but pleased with his champ, and in an interview with the Albuquerque Journal he made it clear that Gustafsson is ahead of the rest as far as competing for the title: (quotes via MMA Fighting)
"Gustafsson's next in line," White said. "Even Cormier said, ‘Listen, I hope this whole things works out for me and I get the shot, but even I believe that Gustafsson deserves the next shot.' [Gustafsson is] the No. 1 contender, he's waited for this rematch and [Cormier] even agrees."
Cormier said that if the UFC and Jones don't get this sorted out, he'd be up for fighting Gustafsson, but only for an interim title.
White continued to talk about the Jones-Gustafsson-Cormier triangle by focusing his attention (and frustration) on Jones:
"As soon as [Jones] starts to build some steam and starts to become the star that you think he can be, he comes out and doesn't want to fight somebody," White said. "You're the champion, you're the pound-for-pound best guy in the world, and he says he wants to be known as the best ever. Well, you don't turn down opponents, you know what I mean? You've got to fight all the best in the world, anyway. You're the man; everybody's gunning for you."
Yesterday, Jones posted (then promptly deleted) an Instagram video addressing those who are accusing him of ducking the Swede.
The UFC seems very adamant about doing this rematch, which would be the first of Jones' career and a big Las Vegas main event on Labor Day weekend. Just last year the UFC had Jones fight Chael Sonnen because "nobody else stepped up to fight him", but now the standing of #1 contender suddenly has substantial meaning. Gustafsson obviously has every right to be upset with Jones, but this once again highlights the UFC's inconsistencies regarding their awarding of title shots.
In the end, it's another day and another chapter in the never-ending drama between Jon Jones and the UFC.